The secret to a mesmerizing chocolate swirl? A double helix twist.
The secret to the mesmerizing chocolate swirl in this babka recipe? A double helix twist (don’t worry, it’s way easier than science class).
Mfuentes23San Jose, CA6/14/2020I kneaded the dough by hand and it ended up really sticky. Bit the bullet and ploughed through, and out turned out mediocre -- tasty, but the twists didn't really hold together and did not rise as much as a babka should.
Jin-wenSingapore5/5/2020I've made this recipe probably a dozen times and absolutely love it, especially with a few easy tweaks. I recommend lowering the oven temp to 325 and using the same bake time. Baking it at 350 gave me a crispy outside, which while pleasant, is not the outcome I look for in a babka. I recently acquired a cooking thermometer and pull it from the oven when it reaches 180-185 in the middle. I also double the amount of chocolate filling, and add a little vanilla extract. To parrot the other reviewers, I encourage to knead appropriately. It's very easy to scale up and make multiple loaves at the same time. If you like nuts, I suggest adding them to the streusel by finely chopping some and taking out a little flour.
AnonymousCalifornia4/14/2020I really want to make this recipe but Gluten-Free! Any tips on how to successfully swap the flour for a gluten-free one? Specifically from Schar flours? They have specific flour blends for cakes, bread, and then general use flour. Thoughts on what would work? Trying to make it this Hannukah! headtopics.com
AnonymousGermany12/12/2019I agree with some of the comment here: this recipe needs a few edits. I will say I added an additional egg yolk to my base to combat the bread drying out too much from the long bake and barely combined the dough mixture together; once I couldn't see big chunks of butter, I stopped kneading. I also made more filling for my dough than in the recipe, and topped the cooled loaf with a very light cinnamon/cardamom glaze instead of streusel. I agree with other commenters that the bake time here is excessively long. I cooked my babka for 20 minutes, brushed with egg, then 20 minutes more (total of 40) and it was DONE. I easily could've baked it for 35 and it would've been fine. I'm not sure what the difference between my oven is and the test kitchen, but 50-60 minutes would've surely burnt and dried up my loaf. If you're thinking of trying this recipe, make sure to check on your loaf earlier than you think.
lushelocutionLexington, KY8/30/2019To my friend who posted on February 19: Your dough is dry because kneading for 16-20 minutes is WAY too long. Babka is delicate, not at all like regular bread dough and should not be kneaded but for maybe 30 seconds to combine the softened butter as the last step (far less than even this recipe recommends). Treat it delicately and hardly knead at all; see if this improves your texture. Then, 90-120 minutes of rest. I do not have a pedestal mixer and combining by hand works well for me. As a Polish girl who watched her babcia make babka many a time, I assure you that a light combining of ingredients is key. Babcia did this with no fancy pedestal mixers or tools, preparing the dough in the morning, giving it ample rest time as she worked on other dishes or household projects, and would bake the babka after lunch. The resulting babka pulls apart springily and holds up to any flavors you choose to mix in. Instead of chocolate, experiment with other flavors. Raisins were always a favorite, especially golden raisins. Or poppyseed filling (pre-sweetened from a can) with golden raisins. Jams are a beloved flavoring in Polish bakeries; try apricot, prune, strawberry. Any of these with cream cheese if you like.
AnonymousNorthampton, Massachusetts3/4/2019I've made this twice now, with the only change being that I hand knead in a bowl for ~16-20m because I don't have a stand mixer. I don't add any flour during this process. I think the bake time is too long for this recipe. The dough tends to come out kind of dry. I bought an oven thermometer to make sure my oven wasn't running hot, and made sure I was baking at exactly 350. The other BA babka recipe (the cheese babka) instructs to bake at 375 for only 25-30m— a drastic difference from the 350 for 50-60m directed in this recipe. I think if I make this again I'm going to try to bake it at a higher temp for a shorter time to try to combat the dryness. I didn't have any of the issues the previous commenter had with the wet dough! The dough was exactly as described in the recipe for me. I had no issue rolling it out very thin and spreading the filling.
Anonymous2/19/2019Tasty, but difficult! The dough's WAY too wet to work with. I ended up just giving up the first time. The second time, I resigned myself to do a subpar job working the dough and spreading the filling. Still tasted good.AnonymousBergenfield, NJ headtopics.com
10/25/2018One of the most delicious recipes from Bon Appétit that I have ever made. Worth the time and effortRead more: Bon Appétit »
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