Chocolate Babka

Babka – not a very well known recipe but it is something I have made at this time of year for the past two years as it is traditionally baked for Easter Sunday. So, what is a babka? Well, it is a brioche type twisted bread filled with cinnamon, sugar and chocolate.

It is not overly sweet but that is kind of a good thing as it makes a perfect breakfast. I love it thickly sliced and then toasted under the grill so the chocolate is warm and melty!

Traditionally this bread is made with butter, sugar and eggs but that is not how I bake so I was definitely in for a challenge with this one. I used this recipe as a guide but did some tweaking so that it suits my preferences of being vegan and oil free. It does contain a reasonable amount of fat but that is entirely down to the chocolate. No other fat needed here!

My mum and I really love this bread and you wouldn’t even know it was vegan!

I hope you try this babka and if you do please leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you!

Ingredients makes a 2lb loaf tin

180ml non-dairy milk (3/4 cup)

1 tbsp sugar of choice, I like coconut sugar

7g sachet of dried yeast

25g ground flaxseed (1/3 cup)

80ml warm water (1/3 cup)

460g spelt flour (3 3/4 cups approx.)

1/4 tsp salt

50g sugar of choice, I like coconut sugar (1/3 cup)

90g applesauce (6 tbsp)

100g dairy free dark chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 tsp gound cinnamon

25g sugar of choice, I like coconut sugar (1/6 cup)

Method

Warm the non-dairy milk with the 1 tbsp sugar in a saucepan until approx. body temperature has been reached. Sprinkle the yeast on top, stirring just slightly. Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes, or until frothy.

In a small bowl, combine the ground flaxseed and hot water, whisking until combined to make a flax egg.

Combine the flour, salt and 50g of sugar in a large bowl until well mixed. Add the applesauce, flax egg and non-dairy milk yeast mixture and mix until a soft but not sticky dough is formed. If mixture sticks to your hands, add flour in small increments until this is no longer the case.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until elastic, about 6-10 minutes. Place back in the bowl and cover. Allow dough to rise for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line a 2 lb loaf tin and set aside.

Turn the dough out onto a surface dusted with flour. Punch down the dough and knead for 3-5 minutes. Return to the bowl, cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes more.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 25g of sugar, chocolate and cinnamon. Set aside.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a large 16-18” rectangle about ¼” thick. Brush the edges of the dough with water. Spread all but 1/4 cup of the chocolate mixture evenly on the dough, leaving a ½” margin on all sides.

Place the rectangle so that the long side is in front of you and the short sides are on your left and right. Starting at the side nearest you, roll the dough tightly until reaching the other side. Pinch the ends in to seal. Using both hands, twist the dough several full times, like a rope. Fold the dough into a horseshoe shape, twisting the ends over itself so that it resembles a figure-8. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate mixture. Place in the prepared loaf pan and left rise for 20 minutes more.

Bake in the oven until golden brown, about 45-50 minutes.

Remove and let cool completely on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature but I prefer it toasted!

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