I discovered this recipe last year and made it for my youngest son who loves both challah bread and chocolate. This is a cross between a chocolate babka and challah bread and it's so good. I love the combination of the chocolate and cinnamon together.
This "babkallah" is not at all hard to make, it just takes some time. After you make the dough and let it rise, You divide the dough into three pieces and roll each piece out flat (see photos below). On each piece of dough, you lay the chocolate/cinnamon mixture and then roll each piece up into a long log. You braid the logs together and bake. Honestly, this bread is divine.
Chocolate Cinnamon Babkallah
for a printable recipe click here
½ cup whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
⅓ cup granulated sugar
2¼ teaspoons instant yeast (like Rapid Rise)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups all purpose flour (approximately)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
⅓ cup light brown sugar
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
all purpose flour for the counter
¼ cup (½ stick) butter, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
granulated sugar (for sprinkling - I used raw, coarse Turbinado sugar)
Make the dough:
Heat milk in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove just until warm, not hot. Transfer to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Blend in the egg yolks, vanilla, butter, sugar, yeast and salt. Mix on medium speed (or use a large wooden spoon) until well blended. Switch to the dough hook. Add 2 cups of the flour and blend until fully incorporated. For the last cup of flour, add slowly until you get a dough that just holds together well without being too dry or too wet. Don't worry if you don't have to use all the flour - it's better to get the right texture dough. Knead for about 5 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a large bowl sprayed with a little cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size about 2 hours.
Filing and Assembly
Mix chocolate, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide into three equal portions. Shape each into a 12" long rope. Roll out each rope to a 12x6" rectangle and about ⅛" thick. Brush with butter and top each rectangle with a third of the chocolate mixture. Roll up to 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° F. Beat egg yolk with 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Brush dough with egg wash;sprinkle with sugar. Bake until top is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when bottom is tapped, 35 - 45 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
adapted very slightly from Bon Appetit