If I am what I eat, I would eat chocolate babka all day everyyy day. It’s soft, carelessly buttery, and 50% happiness + 50% chocolate (which is basically just happiness so babka can basically be 100% happiness). Why would anyone choose to be the bitter flavorless greens that are vegetables?
The only problem then would be that it’s so annoying to make with all the mixing, kneading, more mixing, shaping, and syrup. Here, I’ve basically said good bye to all the beautiful traditions (I’m sorry to all those people out there who have the time to knead and stay in the house forever), this babka is taking over. Mixing and sprinkling anyone can do and the rest of the time the dough naps like a cute little puppy in the refrigerator, filling it with a buttery, sugary aroma. Instead of being fussy, this babka dough is tamer than a wise grandmother and you can basically leave it in the fridge for forever before baking it (i.e. up to 48 hrs, not like 2 years forever 😛 ).
So it’s quite obvious that I’ve decided to take a simple approach to so many recipes. I used to hate these “no knead” recipes because I had a the more time it takes, the better mentality but that was probably because I was around 12 at the time and had allll the time in the world to waste. Now, I have more of a mix it, leave it mentality thanks to all the projects that have stolen away all of my free time.
However I mostly despised no knead breads because they didn’t make any sense to me. Kneading is key to developing gluten which helps the bread stay upright and be soft instead of a deflated deformed brick. Some cookbook authors didn’t think that was quite needed (the science behind it is quite interesting) and so since then a wave of “no knead” breads have swept the net in their glory. It wasn’t until my no knead hokkiado bread that I believed this little idea.
Babka is basically a Jewish bread that is super enriched (as in it’s about as healthy and bread-like as a croissant and brioche mix) and in this case, swirled with an impossible amount of sweet, bitter chocolate and topped with a beyond crumbly, buttery streusel. This one is slightly healthier because I decided to forgo the extra 1/2 cup of sugar that every other recipe has and cut down the sugar by a couple quarters of a cup, but it has the exact same impossibly rich and buttery taste combined with the fluffy dedicance of any other babka. Also, did I mention this is also unbelievebly easy because it’s no knead?
Now I can finish my homework, projects, essays, AND make bread (although we all know what takes priority here… hint: it starts with br- and ends in -ead).
Heat the milk until warm to the touch. Add in the sugar, yeast, eggs, egg yolk, salt, 1 cup flour, and butter. Mix in the rest of the flour 1 cup at a time until fully incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours (it will not fully double).
To make the chocolate filling, melt the butter and chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double broiler. Mix in the cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
Take the dough out of the fridge and cut in half. Roll one of them into a rectangle that's 2.5 the length of the bread pan and about 10-12 inches wide. The dough should be very thin, almost translucent (very crucial to a babka with intricate swirls -if you don't care, don't bother with the thinness). Spread on 1/2 of the chocolate filling, completely over the dough.
Roll tightly, starting from the long end. Trim about 1 inch off the ends. Fold in half and twist into a large twist. Place in a bread pan.
Repeat with the other piece of dough.
Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours until nearly doubled.
Meanwhile, mix the ingredients for the streusel to make a crumble (you may have to add more flour).
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Beat an egg and brush on top of each loaf. Sprinkle streusel thickly on.
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 F and bake for 15-25 minutes (adding an aluminum foil cover if necessary to stop excess browning).
Makes 2 loaves.