It’s Friday, y’all! In my house, the weekend means babka for breakfast. Allow me to explain.
When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to send a big box of baked goods to us a few times a year. The box was full of her goodies: cookies and cakes, most of them traditional Eastern European specialties. Nestled in the box were always two babkas. For those of you who aren’t familiar, a babka is cake that is actually made from a yeast dough and then swirled with various fillings. The traditional filling is cinnamon sugar, but more modern babkas have chocolate as well.
My grandmother’s babka had not even a hint of chocolate and resembled a cinnamon bread. This babka is adapted from Susie Fishbein’s recipe, and it’s more like a chocolate cinnamon bun with crumbly topping instead of the icing. It’s made in a springform pan and I use the bread machine for the dough, which is probably a lot easier than the process my matriarchs went through to get a good babka.
See all the crumbs on top? Intense happiness. It should satisfy all you crumb fiends out there. And the yeast dough is soft and perfectly holds the filling, an addictive combination of mini chocolate chips, cinnamon, melted butter and sugar. Oh, and have I mentioned that this is pretty indulgent?
It’s also a great breakfast. Any kind of yeast dough is technically a bread, and you can always eat bread for breakfast. There. Rationalization over.
When you make the crumb topping, don’t be too enthusiastic when you are hand-mixing those wonderful big crumbs. Otherwise they’ll get smaller, and nobody likes it when that happens. You want lots of oozing chocolate, yeasty dough, and crunchy crumbles. Oh my goodness…just thinking about it is making me emotional. Hold on while I grab another mouthful.
Oooh, chewy. I’m back! But just for long enough to write this recipe for you, because I really need to get back to this babka. Priorities, people. Break out the bread machine!
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 4 cups bread flour
- 12 ounces mini chocolate chips
- 1 cup raw sugar
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
Add the dough ingredients to the bread machine pan according to manufacturer’s directions and set to the dough cycle. When the dough is finished, allow to rise for one hour in a greased bowl until doubled in size. If you don’t have as much time, put the dough in the bowl and allow to rise overnight in the refrigerator. It will rise on its own in the fridge and be ready to go the next day!
When the dough is ready, make the chocolate filling. Pour the mini chocolate chips into a bowl. Mix in the sugar and cinnamon. Pour the melted butter over the mixture and stir until all the ingredients are mixed.
Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a large, thin rectangle. Sprinkle on the chocolate filling evenly, making sure the edges are covered. Starting with the long side of the rectangle, roll up the dough to make a long, thin roll. Using a serrated knife, cut into 1 and 1/2-inch thick slices.
Place the rolls flat into the prepared springform pans. You will have a few left over. You can take the leftover rolls and fit them into a small round cake pan to make a mini-babka and bake that along with the larger one. Mini babkas are so cute!
To make the crumb topping, mix the powdered sugar and flour. Add the melted butter and, using your hands along with a spatula, combine the ingredients to form large crumbs.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the crumbs are turning golden and the chocolate is melted. It’s very important not to overbake the babka because that dries out the dough. I like mine a little tiny bit underbaked in the middle, but not everyone is into that!
Cool the babka completely. Then, release the sides of the springform pan. You can serve the babka or wrap it up and freeze it. But who are we kidding? Devour immediately!