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Cinnamon Nutella Chocolate Babka
For years I’ve been wanting to try my hand at chocolate babka, but have never felt like I had the time or wanted to make the mess. I read about 30 recipes for chocolate babka and felt like I could not find a recipe that had a filling that appealed to me. Every recipe I saw had some variation of the same filling – melted chocolate chips with cocoa powder – but every one looked dry after baking. Some had cinnamon. Of course they looked pretty but I wanted a smoother chocolate filling. I kept thinking how delicious it would be with nutella inside (and so easy!).
I used my favorite dough (the base for my sweet rolls and dinner rolls) then added nutella and the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture I use inside my cinnamon rolls, and man, I have to say I’m proud of myself for coming up with this Cinnamon Nutella Chocolate Babka because it was insanely delicious! On the first try. Most new recipes take me many tries to create and get it right – this one was just too many good flavors and textures in one.
This Cinnamon Nutella Chocolate Babka recipe is not that complicated to make, but takes a little time (think cinnamon rolls – lots of steps but doable). Because of the intricacies of rolling, cutting, and twisting the dough, I’ll provide step-by-step photos for your below, in the recipe card.
Cinnamon Nutella Chocolate Babka
- 3 tbsp. active dry yeast
- 2 c. warm water
- 1/3 c. white sugar
- 1/3 c. melted butter
- 1 egg
- 2/3 c. powdered dry milk (if you don't have this, omit, and instead of 2 c. of warm water in recipe, use 2 c. warm milk)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 5 3/4 c. white flour
- 1 1/2 c. nutella / chocolate hazlenut spread
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/3 c. water
- 6 tbsp. sugar
- Can use a stand mixer or large bowl. Add yeast to large bowl or mixer bowl. Add warm water and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add all ingredients except flour and salt and mix until smooth.
- Gradually add the flour and salt, and mix until just combined.
- Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead gently until dough is soft and incorporated. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
- Once dough has doubled, turn out onto a floured counter/surface.
- Punch down and knead into ball.
- Cut ball in half. Set aside one half. Each half will be a loaf.
- Roll out first half with a rolling pin, into a large rectangular shape (about 12×18")
- Spread 3/4 c. of the nutella evenly over the dough.
- In a separate bowl, mix the 1 c. of brown sugar and 1 tsp. of cinnamon. Use your hands to sprinkle half of this mixture over the first half of dough.
- Roll up the dough tightly, into a long vertical log. If it's too loose, it will be harder to cut later.
- Once rolled, use a sharp serrated knife to cut the log lengthwise down the middle.
- Make sure you cut all the way through. The dough can be sticky.
- Carefully take one side of dough and lift it over the other.
- Continue this back and forth until the entire log is twisted up.
- Once loaf is twisted, line 2 bread loaf pans with parchment paper, and then coat well with cooking spray.
- Set the first twisted loaf carefully into the first loaf pan. It doesn't have to look perfect. It looks so pretty any way you do it.
- Repeat the rolling, cutting, and twisting process with the second ball of dough.
- Place into the second loaf pan. Spray both loaves with cooking spray to keep from getting dry, then cover with a towel and set aside to rise for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.
Baking the Bread
- Once the loaves have risen, prepare an egg wash with one egg whisked with a splash of water. Use a basting brush to lightly brush the egg wash generously over the tops of each loaf. This will give it that shiny brown top.
- Place both loaves into the preheated oven. They will bake for about 40 minutes total, but the exact time will depend on your loaf sizes, oven temp, and oven size, so below I'll state what to look for to know how they're done.
- It's a good idea to switch the loaves halfway through baking, to ensure they bake evenly. Set your first timer for 20 minutes. After 20, switch the loaves 180 degrees each, bringing the backs to the front.
- How to Know When They're Done: If the tops are not a deep golden brown color, the bread will not be cooked through on the inside. Be sure to leave them in until the tops are a deep color. Around 35 total minutes in the oven, start checking to see the color. If you see any burning, they've been in too long, take them out immediately. Once they have a deep golden color remove from oven.
- Make the simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a microwave safe bowl, and microwaving until just boiling. Use a basting brush to brush the syrup generously on the loaves right when they come out. This syrup will give the loaves shine and make the top sticky sweet.
- Let the loaves rest in the pans until you can handle the pans to remove. Turn out the loaves, slice and enjoy the cinnamon chocolatey goodness!
Will you be making this Cinnamon Nutella Chocolate Babka? If so tag me at @plumstreetcollective on Instagram. Thanks for baking along!