When I didn't think my love for bread could grow any fonder, I met the babkallah—a chocolate and cinnamon-swirled bread baby of the chocolate babka and challah breads. Once I spotted this braided beauty on Bon Appetit's Instagram account, I knew my life wouldn't be complete until I had a bite myself. But we all know baking isn't as fun unless we have friends to help us in the kitchen. As a sort of last hurrah for my dear friend, My, I invited her over one last time for a bake-a-thon...with mimosas, of course.
The babkallah appears to be an intimidating feat, but it's really quite hard to mess up; this is coming from a bread-baking newbie. I led the charge earlier that morning to let the yeast do its work before she arrived. After a couple hours and a doubling of the dough, we were ready to embark on the babkallah.
Once My arrived, she got to chopping the chocolate bars while I rolled out the dough into three rectangles.
My rectangles weren't perfect, but that was okay, as long as the three were large and equal in size. We then sprinkled and pat the chopped chocolate and cinnamon-brown sugar mixture into each rectangle and got to rolling our logs!
It’s important to roll each log quite snug to really lock in the chocolate mixture, and this also makes it easier for the next step.
An hour or so later, the logs expanded, and it was braiding time. My took the reins on this one and did a fabulous job if I do say so myself.
Once we basted the braided dough with an egg wash and sprinkled more sugar on top, the babkallah was ready for the oven. The recipe instructs to bake for 35–45 minutes, but we added about 10–15 minutes more, checking and knocking throughout while we waited for the hollow sound the recipe calls for. After a couple mimosas interspersed with nostalgic chats, the loaf was ready! We let it cool on a rack, then sliced into the swirly, chocolate-y layers. Di-vine.
This is rare for me, but I found the babkallah to be significantly better the next day. Typically I’m a get-me-those-gooey-cookies-straight-out-of-the-oven kind of gal, but the next day the loaf was sturdier to slice and easily reverted back to its pillowy, just-baked self after a couple minutes in the toaster oven! The bread itself actually isn't as sweet as I thought. Perhaps you could add honey, make some stellar French toast or bread pudding or even a snippet of butter will do the trick.
So grab a friend, set aside a few hours and don't wait a minute longer to make this. The recipe is found here.