A babka is a sweet bread similar to a brioche. It has been on my recipe to-do list for quite some time as I think it just looks and sounds amazing. I thralled the internet for inspiration and tried one or two recipes with not so good results then I stumbled upon Melanie Lionello’s recipe for a spelt version and thought it was worth a try…..I think the picture of the final result says enough! I mixed the filling up a bit with some melted dark chocolate and crushed toasted hazelnuts but keep it simple just with chocolate or whatever takes your fancy.
Makes 1 loaf.
- 90ml lukewarm milk
- 125g butter, melted
- 300g spelt flour
- 3/4 tsp dried fast-action yeast
- generous pinch of sea salt
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 40g coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 100g dark chocolate, melted
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp hazelnuts, toasted & crushed
- Place all the ingredients for the babka dough into a large mixing bowl and using a dough hook and a kitchen mixer combine for 10-15 minutes until a smooth dough is formed, transfer to a clean surface. If you don’t have a mixer combine by hand in the bowl and then transfer the dough to a clean surface and knead for at least 10-15 minutes by hand until a smooth supple dough is formed.
- Once the dough is fully kneaded, leave to sit on your work surface whilst you prepare the filling.
- Once the chocolate is melted, stir through the solid coconut oil to form a shiny, supple liquid.
- Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough into a large rectangle shape. Pour over the chocolate mix and evenly spread over the dough. Sprinkle with 3/4 of the crushed hazelnuts.
- Now for the fun and messy part, I kind of got too engrossed in the process to take pictures so if you get a bit lost there are tons of how-to videos on Youtube. Evenly roll the dough length ways into a swiss-roll shape. Using a sharp knife, cut it length-ways in half leaving a 5cm gap at the end un-cut. Gently separate the two lengths and braid over each other as if plaiting hair until the dough is fully braided.
- Place the dough into a lined loaf tin, sprinkle over the remaining crushed hazelnuts, cover with cling-film and allow to prove in a warm place for about 2 hours.
- When ready to bake, pre-heat an oven to 180°C and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.