Are you familiar with that special kind of food that brings back your childhood only by its taste or smell? Babka is one of them to me. I immediately and inseparably combine the smell of freshly baked sweet dough with my grandma’s kitchen. She was a gifted baker, everything from her oven tasted infinitely good. Back then, there was nothing better for me than reading in the bedroom, cuddled in my favorite blanket, waiting for the finished cakes. The first piece — in most cases still warm — belonged exclusively to me.
Babka is basically a yeast cake, originally from Eastern Europe. We enjoyed it especially before Christmas — instead of biscuits and cookies, Babka was traditionally baked with poppy or nut filling. In this recipe, my babka is filled with a cream of chocolate. As a special twist, I rounded the filling with homemade Pumpkin Spice. Sooo tasty and perfect with a latte or hot chocolate on a cold winter afternoon!
In order that your Babka certainly succeeds in the first attempt, here are my tips:
- Do not be afraid of the yeast dough! Just make sure that the milk is really lukewarm and not too hot, otherwise the yeast fungus will be destroyed and the dough will not rise. Also, do not use too much yeast, as your babka will probably crumble during baking.
- You can also use fresh yeast instead of dry germ of course. Works even better in most cases, as it provides a more fluffy dough.
- For a perfect yeast dough, you need to do a little kneading. Since it should be kneaded for at least 10 minutes, leave this part to your food processor 🙂
- You can also freeze your Babka once made and defrost it again any time if necessary.
Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Babka
Zutaten / Ingredients
- 300 g flour
- 50 g sugar fine
- 6 g dry yeast
- 2 eggs size L
- 60 ml milk lukewarm
- 70 g butter soft, at room temperature
- 1 pinch of salt
For the filling:
- 40 g almonds chopped
- 70 g dark chocolate of good quality max. 70% cocoa
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp pumpkin spice
- 60 g butter (10g needed for the caramelized almonds)
- 30 g confectioner's sugar
- 1 tbsp cocoa pulver unsweetened
- some butter for the pan
- some flour for the work surface
Anleitung / Instructions
- For the yeast dough, mix the flour, dry yeast, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Gradually stir in the eggs, butter and lukewarm milk and knead to a smooth dough for about 10 minutes.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and leave in a warm (but not hot!) place for about an hour to rise.
- While the dough is resting, we prepare the filling: caramelize the chopped almonds with 10g of butter and a tablespoon of sugar in a frying pan. Allow to cool and, if necessary, chop a little.
- Melt the chocolate with the remaining butter over hot steam. Once the chocolate is liquid, remove it from the heat. While cooling, stir in the confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder and pumpkin spice.
- Preheat the oven to 175° C top and bottom heat.
- Butter the pan well or lay it out with parchment paper.
- Roll out the yeast dough on the floured work surface into a rectangle (approx. 25cm x 40cm). Spread the filling evenly on the dough, but leave blank 2 cm on the sides. Sprinkle the caramelized almonds evenly on the filling.
- Now comes the skillful part 🙂 Roll up the dough from the narrow side as tight as possible. Then cut it lengthwise in the middle with a sharp knife. Gently twist the two halves together, so that the cut surfaces face outwards. This is how the characteristic pattern of the Babka is formed.
- Carefully place the dough into the loaf pan and bake on the middle rail for about 35 minutes. If it becomes too dark at the top, cover with aluminium foil.
- At the end of baking process, remove from the pan, allow to cool well and serve sprinkled with a little confectioner's sugar.