Dreams do come true!! Babkallah is the rich chocolatey cinnamon filling of babka in a challah shape. In other words, perfection.
So today is my birthday!!!! (!!) Yay. I looovvveee birthdays. (All attention on me!) Even as I get, ahem, older. But as long as I still look 24, right? (This is where you agree with me.) So when Bon Appetit asked me to share their now infamous Babkallah recipe with y’all, I thought my birthday was the perfect time! Screw cake, right? So overrated.
How am I celebrating? Mostly nursing my hangover from the weekend. Damn you, aging process. Last week I had a girls crafting night (BYOB and glitter!), and then Saturday I rented out a bar for about 50 of my closest friends for a Sweet 16 themed extravaganza! Hello Kitty and bourbon. It was glorious. So today, relaxation time.
Maybe you can spend the day making babkallah in my honor?? I won’t judge you if you add rainbow sprinkles. The key to challah (or babkallah) success is making sure your yeast gets foamy and letting your dough rise. Patience is key, my friends!
The other important thing is chocolate. Lots of chocolate.
I made a few tweaks to the original recipe, but overall was impressed. I mean buttery challah stuffed with chocolate, cinnamon and more butter. What could go wrong?
Compared to normal run-of-the-mill challah, this dough has egg yolks, milk instead of water, and have I mentioned butter? Mmm butter.
Don’t be shy with that filling!
Bon Appetit says if you can braid, you can make this treat. You can do it!
Rise, baby, rise!
Baby got back.
Don’t be shy with the sugar, babe.
Oh yeah. Stick a birthday candle in me, I’m done.
And now, the part you’ve been waiting for. Check out that gooey cross section!
Can you imagine the epic French toast this could become?? I’ll pause to let you drool over that thought for a moment.
You may want to make two, it’s that good, and will go fast. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Reprinted with permission and some tweaks from Bon Appetit.
- For dough:
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 ¼ oz. envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter, melted, cooled
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more
- For filling and assembly:
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
- ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- All-purpose flour for rolling
- ¼ cup ½ stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon water
- Granulated sugar for sprinkling
- Heat milk in a small saucepan until warm (about 100 degrees F. Too warm or too cool, and the yeast won't activate). Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in yeast and one tablespoon sugar; let sit until foamy, 5–10 minutes.
- Whisk in egg yolks, vanilla, and ½ cup butter. Add remaining sugar, salt, and 3 cups flour; mix until a shaggy dough forms. If the dough is dry, add a bit more milk, if it's sticky, add a bit more flour. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface or in an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment until supple, smooth, and no longer shiny, 5–10 minutes.
- Transfer to a large buttered bowl. Cover and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1½–2½ hours.
- When ready to assemble, mix chocolate, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide into three portions. Shape each into a 12”-long rope. Roll out each rope to a 12x6” rectangle about ⅛” thick. Brush with butter and top with chocolate mixture, pressing gently. Don't be afraid to use all the chocolate! Roll up carefully making sure to not let in any air bubbles or let the filling fall out. Form a log; pinch seam to seal.
- Place logs, seam side down, side by side on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pinch logs together at one end; braid, then pinch ends together and tuck under. Cover loosely and let sit in a warm place until 1½ times larger, 1–2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Brush dough with egg wash; sprinkle generously with granulated sugar. Bake until top is golden brown and babkallah sounds hollow when bottom is tapped, about 35–45 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Eat!