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Jewish Chocolate Babka Recipe

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Jewish Chocolate Babka

Jewish Chocolate Babka

© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This chocolate babka recipe was appropriated from the Poles by Eastern European or Ashkenazic Jews. (But Ashkenazic Jews claim the Poles stole it from them!) As with most recipes, changes were made over the years. Instead of being baked in a swirly babka pan the Poles use, most Jewish people bake it in a loaf pan and, often, add a streusel topping. It's a delicious, rich version that is most commonly made in chocolate, cinnamon and almond varieties and, in my opinion, surpasses most Polish babkas I've tasted.

Here's a larger picture of Chocolate Babka.

Makes 2 (8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch) loaf pans of Jewish Chocolate Babka

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Dough:
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • .
  • Filling:
  • 1 (12-ounce) can chocolate filling, not frosting (see below)
  • .
  • Topping:
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter

Preparation:

  1. Scald the milk and let cool to 110 degrees. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the yeast. Let stand for 7 minutes until bubbly.

  2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade (or by hand using a pastry blender), combine flour, salt and 3 tablespoons of the sugar, pulsing to blend. Pulse in the butter as for pie dough.

  3. Add the egg yolks and yeast mixture and pulse until a ball of dough forms. Place in a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

  4. Grease two (8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch) loaf pans and set aside. Beat reserved egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Reserve. Prepare the streusel topping by mixing the flour and sugar and cutting in the butter as for pie dough.

  5. Divide dough in half (refrigerating the half not being rolled) and, on a lightly floured surface or parchment paper, roll each half into a 12-by-18-inch rectangle.

  6. Spread dough with half the chocolate filling Compare Prices and then half the egg whites. Fold in the sides of dough and roll up as for a jellyroll. Place in prepared pan. Sprinkle with half the streusel topping. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until above the rim of the pan. Repeat with remaining dough.

  7. Place rack in center of oven and heat to 350 degrees. Bake babka for about 40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 190 degrees. Let cool in pan 5 minutes and then carefully turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

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