Chocolate Babka is one of those recipes that remind me of all the holidays
Maybe because back in my bakery days we would make dozens upon dozens of them for Easter weekend
*I don’t usually make you read a story to go with my recipes….but
My introduction to that Babka life started when I was very young
My step mother was Polish and her mother would make Cheese Babkas almost every weekend!
I was completely in love the first time I tasted it and of course when I learned there was a chocolate babka variation!
The charm of a Babka dough for me is that it can’t decide whether it wants to be a cake or a bread!
It’s a very rich dough that is loaded up with vegan butter similar to a Brioche!
Yeast breads are probably the easiest things to veganize since we often don’t need the eggs
I put chocolate in just about everything so this double dose with mini chocolate chips is barely tipping the scales of “enough” for me
So I also had a small bowl of dipping chocolate on the side, it’s just a bowl of ganache which I almost always have in my refrigerator anyway!
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Notes for Success:
Be sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before mixing the dough, the vegan butter should be super soft
If you do not have aquafaba you can replace with more plant milk with no other changes to the recipe
For the Dough:
- All Purpose Flour 4½ cups (560g)
- Granulated Sugar ½ cup (100g)
- Baking Powder ¼ teaspoon
- Ground Cardamom 1 teaspoon
- Ground Nutmeg ½ teaspoon
- Salt 1 teaspoon
- Dry Yeast 3¼ teaspoons
- Aquafaba *see note above ½ cup (118ml)
- Golden Flax Meal 2 Tablespoons
- Vegan Butter soft 1 cup (227g)
- Plant Milk * I used soy milk 14 Tablespoons (205ml)
For the Chocolate Filling:
- Water 5 Tablespoons (77ml)
- Granulated Sugar 10 Tablespoons (140g)
- Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder 8 Tablespoons (44g)
- Ground Cinnamon 1 teaspoon
- Miniature vegan Chocolate Chips *optional 1¼ cups
- To make the Babka dough first combine the flax meal with the aquafaba ans whisk smooth.
- Add a pinch of sugar to the plant milk then add the dry yeast and whisk smooth
- Let both mixtures stand for 5 minutes to thicken and the yeast will get frothy and prove that it is alive.
- Combine the flour, sugar, spices, salt and baking powder into the work bowl of your mixer and whisk to combine evenly
- Once the flax paste is thick and the yeast is frothy add both to the flour mixture in the bowl and start mixing with a dough hook
- Mix just to combine everything together, about 1 minute or so and you will have a shaggy looking dough
- Add the softened butter and mix well.
- The dough will look very slick and mushy and like it is not coming together, you may have to help it with a spatula and it will eventually come together.
- I added another approximately ¼ cup of flour to help it form a soft ball of dough that no longer sticks to the sides or bottom of the bowl
- Continue mixing with the dough hook for 8 minutes on medium speed then turn the speed down to low and mix for another 4 minutes
- Turn the dough out into a lightly oiled bowl and cover and rest for approximately one hour in a warm spot to double in size
- In the meantime prepare the chocolate schmear by bringing the water & sugar to a boil then add the cocoa powder & cinnamon, whisk smooth set aside to cool
- Turn the doubled in size dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll to approximately 12" x 18"
- Pour the entire chocolate schmear over the dough and spread evenly
- Sprinkle the *optional chocolate chips and then roll up the dough jelly roll style.
- Cut the log in half so you have 2 logs of dough each approximately 9" long
- And then cut each log in half lengthwise to expose the filling
- Twist to two cut pieces of dough together and place into the greased pans
- Cover once again and let them double in size
- Brush with JUST Egg for a beautiful egg wash OR aquafaba will do nicely here too, before baking in a preheated 335°F oven for 10 minutes then turn the oven down to 300°F for another 35minutes of baking or until they reach 200°F internally with an instant read thermometer.
- Allow to cool in the pans and then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way
Babka is best served the day it is made, but will stay fresh wrapped tightly for up to 4 days at room temperature.