Making bread together

Chocolate Babka Recipe – Polish Easter Bread

All four of my husband’s grandparents were Polish immigrants. We like to our children to be aware of their Polish heritage. One way to bring family history alive is by making traditional foods together. Babka is a Polish Easter bread. So sometimes during the Easter season we make this Babka recipe.

Making the bread is a bit of an event and the whole family gets involved. The recipe is a little complicated, but you do get three loaves out of it. Enjoy one right away and freeze the other two.

If you have never baked bread before, don’t be afraid to give it a try. This is a rich bread with chocolate, so even if it doesn’t come out perfectly, it will still be delicious.

Some people like more chocolate filling and streusel topping on their babka. Feel free to increase the ingredients to add more.

Chocolate Babka

Ingredients (Bread)

  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk (about 100 degrees – not too hot!)
  • 2  packages active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar plus 1 tablespoon
  • 3  eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 to 7 cups  flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 12 oz packages mini chocolate chips (about 3 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Ingredients (Streusel)

  • 1 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cups  flour
  • 1 stick butter

Directions

  1. Combine milk, yeast, and 1 tablespoon sugar.
  2. Let stand until foamy – about 10 minutes.
  3. Add 3/4 cups sugar, eggs, and egg yolks.
  4. Add 4 cups flour and salt. Beat until well mixed.
  5. Add 1 cup butter and  additional flour until it becomes difficult to mix. (About 2 cups additional flour.)
  6. Put dough on lightly floured surface and knead until smooth – just for a few minutes.
  7. Cover and let rise for about one hour.
  8. Meanwhile, combine 1 cup sugar,  chocolate chips, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  9. Cut 1/4 cup butter into chocolate chip mixture.
  10. Set chocolate chip filling mixture aside.
  11. Cut the streusel ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  12. Grease three 9×5 loaf pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  13. Punch down the dough and divide into 3 equal portions.
  14. Roll one portion of dough into a 16×16 inch square.
  15. Sprinkle rolled out dough with 1/3 of the chocolate chip filling mixture, leaving a small border around the edges.
  16. Roll up dough and twist it a couple of times.
  17. Bring the ends together and give it one additional twist, so it looks a little like a figure 8.
  18. Place the dough in the pan.
  19. Repeat with the remaining portions of dough.
  20. Top each loaf with 1/3 of the streusel topping.
  21. Cover loaves and let rise for 30 minutes.
  22. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  23. Bake loaves for 55 minutes.
  24. Lower oven temperature to 325.
  25. Back for an additional 20 minutes. Loaves will be a deep brown.
  26. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

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