After years of intending, I've baked my second babka in two weeks! This is the kind I always meant to make, the kind filled with chocolate. And like so many things I delay, I wonder why I've waited so long. It wasn't difficult at all. The babka is rich and soft, and the chocolate has a nice bittersweet flavor that isn't overly sweet. The exterior is flaky and breaks off in dozens of shard-like crumbs as you cut it.
The most daunting part might be planning the timing, but you can break it up into stages, even two days, by refrigerating the dough. I made the babka in one straight shot. And most of the time is inactive -- I made the dough, went out to an appointment, came back and shaped it, worked out at the gym, and came home and put it in the oven. Babka is a traditional Easter dessert, so you might want to try it this weekend. Just don't wait as long as I did!
- The dough before its first rise.
- The risen dough.
- The dough rolls out easily, with no sticking or snapping back. A sheet of parchment underneath dusted with flour is helpful.
- Scatter the chocolate-cinnamon-butter mixture on top, and get ready to roll!
- Roll up the dough, then use your hands to elongate it.
- Give the log a bit of a twist.
- Coil the log into a snail shape.
- Stand the coil up on its end, then press down to compact into a loaf shape.
- Move the dough to a loaf pan, then wrap it up for its second rise.
- The dough after its second rise. Ready to bake!