This is one of the recipe that as soon as I saw on the Wall Street Journal on a lazy Saturday morning I said “I am making this!”. This recipe got stuck on my mind and I would not rest until I tried it…and of course I had to do it my way…it was not hard since I had all the ingredients handy.
I used an Asian version for the dough, and somehow followed the instructions for the filling. I omitted the sugar syrup because I thought it would be too sweet with the Nutella and chocolate chips in the filling, which by the way, I added a very generous amount, but hey, feel free to add the sugar syrup if you enjoy a sweeter version of this treat. If you want the original recipe look it here.
Overall the recipe is pretty simple and easy if you are familiar with bread baking…and yes, the result is delicious, the combination of Nutella and chocolate chips is just a dream…gooey, moist…as noted in the article, you will have Nutella in each and every bite of this bread. Therefore when eating this bread, you will find your fingers coated with Nutella/chocolate…yum!
One more thing…I only used half of the dough for the babka, the remaining half I made it into rolls.
Bread dough with Water Roux or Tangzhong
15 g bread flour
75 g water
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, complete with water to make a final 2/3 cup
2 ½ cups bread flour
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons dry milk
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry yeast
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup chocolate chips
In a small pan, mix all the ingredients of water roux, place in a low heat and stir constantly until the temperature reach 65C (150F), or if you do not have a thermometer, cook until ripples form.
Set aside to cool by covering with a plastic film.
In the bread machine bucket, add the water roux, and all the other ingredients, except for the butter.
Turn the machine to knead mode until it forms soft dough. If the dough is too wet or too dry, add more flour or water accordingly. The dough should be soft and almost sticky.
Add the butter and let it knead until the butter incorporates to the dough. At this stage, the dough will be very sticky, do not add more flour as the butter will incorporate totally in the dough.
Remove the dough and place in a bowl by covering with a plastic film.
Let the dough proof until double of its original size.
Knock back the dough and split into 2 balls and let it rest for 5 minutes on the counter.
Using a rolling pin flatten one of the ball and roll into a rectangular (sort of) shape of approximately 13 x 9 inches. Spread Nutella (generously) and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Roll the dough tightly like a Swiss roll and lay the seam side down. Cut into half and again each half to a half. With the second ball I just made rolls…
Lay two segments and for an “X”, and twist each end once. Repeat with the remaining two segments. Transfer them to a mini loaf pan, tucking the end underneath.
Cover the pans with plastic wrap until loaves double in volume. Bake in a pre-heated oven to 350F for 20 minutes.
Remove and let it cool on a wire rack.
If you enjoy this Asian inspired recipe for babka, you might want to check on this other Asian inspired bread such as Chocolate Marble Bread or Cinnamon Rolls in a Cup.
Did you know that babka is rumored to have its origins in Poland? And it was a cake? Many other versions of babka have emerged from cake to yeasted bread.