How to Make Babka

Polish babka is best known as a holiday bread. When learning how to make delicious babka bread, try your hand at a variety of different flavors before deciding which will be your family's favorite. All flavors are delicious, but some-like cinnamon babka and chocolate babka-are outstanding.

Polish Babka is an ethnic bread. The bread is made with a rich filling that can either be swirled into the bread or twisted into the bread. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a large rectangle. Spread the filling on the dough, staying away from the edges, to prevent leakage. To twist the bread, start with one of the narrow sides and roll the dough all the way to the middle. Then roll the other side inward until the two rolls meet. Using both hands, twist the two rolls together slightly. One or two twists will do. Carefully pinch the ends, tuck them under and place the loaf into the already greased pan.

Babka is very rich and sweet and will grace a dessert table as well a bread plate. If you wish to make individual babka treats or rolls, use large cupcake pans with paper liners that have been greased with some form of non-stick spray.

Chocolate Babka Recipe

Ingredients You Will Need:
4 cups flour
1 cup milk, warm
4 egg yolks
1 package powdered yeast
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt

Chocolate Filling:
1 pound dark chocolate
1 cup hazelnuts
½ cup butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Cinnamon Filling:
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Combine the butter and sugar until well creamed. Set aside. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks, vanilla and salt together. Set aside. Mix the warm water and an additional ½ teaspoon of sugar together and slowly add the yeast. Stir until blended. Add the yeast mixture to the egg mixture. Next add the milk to the mix. After it is well mixed, slowly add flour, one tablespoon at a time, until you have created sticky dough. Knead the bread on a floured surface until the dough is smooth and no longer sticks. Fold in the nuts.

Place the dough in a greased bowl with a piece of greased plastic wrap over the top of the bowl. While waiting for the dough to rise, prepare the filling.

Preparing the Chocolate Filling
Place the nuts into a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place into a bowl, adding the softened butter, cinnamon and hazelnuts. Mix well.

Preparing the Cinnamon Filling
Mix the butter, sugar and cinnamon together, then add the milk, egg and flour-in that order. When it starts to crumble, add the finely chopped walnuts.

Let the dough rise in a warm place for two to four hours or until double in size. Divide the dough into two pieces. Roll out one piece at a time into a large rectangle, just slightly larger than a rectangular cake pan. Cover with filling and roll into a loaf. Pinch the ends under and place the loaf into a bread pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes. Since the filling will be hot, allow the babka to cool completely before cutting.

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