Chocolate-Cinnamon Babka

how do you make gifs
how do you make gifs

From what I can tell, Jewish delicatessens are the new “fancy ice cream”. Hipsters may not be throwing out their olive oil and sea salt sundaes just yet, but they are making room for pastrami, smoked trout and bialys. Simran and I have tried to eat at SF hot spot Wise Sons Delicatessen, on a couple of occasions only to have been foiled at every turn. Hipsters be damned!

Naturally as my mouth was watering and my mind was contemplating Wise Son’s house-cured pastrami on double baked rye bread it also meandered over to chocolate babka. Decadent, chocolatey, cinnamony babka…. And somehow it was easier to imagine baking up a loaf of that sweet, swirly bread than curing our own pastrami, so before your know it we had a dozen babka recipes tagged, and my favorite 4 year old chocoholic urging me on from the sidelines.

It was tough to chose among the contenders, but ultimately we settled in with this Peter Reinhart recipe via the Purple Foodie website. (I just could not bring myself dive with in the 3.5 sticks of butter called for in Martha Stewart’s version. OK it does make 3 loaves, but still….). The Reinhart recipe seems a little complicated at first with its 2 rises, but after making it, I assure you that none of it is hard to do and nearly all of it is suitable for little helpers. Dough projects might be messy, but they are fabulous tactile fun for youngsters and working with yeast offers a chance to do a little kitchen science. I wouldn’t be able to stop Luca from getting into the act even if I wanted to — you’ll find him pulling up a chair next to the counter anytime he sees me getting out tubs of flour or pulling out the stand mixer. Gooey gobs of chocolate don’t hurt either.

Sometimes you wonder if your final product will look as good as the beautifully styled, professional-looking photo that inspired it. This babka was one of the most impressive looking things to come out of our oven in quite sometime. And luckily for us it tasted as good as it looked.

I’ll let the Purple Foodie give you the full details on Peter Reinhart’s recipe and instead I’ll share this little pictorial to give you a sense of how this recipe comes together. I’ll also mention that we liked slightly more chocolate filling than called for in the recipe. We also painted the babka with a little egg wash and sprinkled it with cinnamon sugar before baking. The full recipe makes two large loaves and as much as we love Babka, it’s pretty decadent so I think a half recipe (1 loaf) is sufficient to satisfy the craving. If you’re feeling nice you may consider making the full recipe and sharing a loaf with a friend, or you could portion your dough and make mini babkas to share with lots of friends if you’re feeling really, really nice.

16 thoughts on “Chocolate-Cinnamon Babka

    • Your kids will love making and eating this with you. — I used the site to make the animated gif. Super easy and the basic version (up to 10 images) is free to use. Give it a try and let me know if you run into any difficulties.

  1. I just don’t know quite how I can express how much I want to eat this! Absolutely stunning. I’ll bookmark this for the weekend when I have more time to give it a go.

    This is being tweeted out as more people need to know about this fine fine recipe!


    • Sometimes pictures do a much better job than words (especially when I am writing them). I have never found a good babka around here (still waiting to try Wise Sons here in SF), so I’m glad to have found such a great recipe. I’ve put Peter Reinhart’s “Artisan Breads Everyday” on my wishlist. If his other recipes are even half as great as this one, it will be a great baking resource.

  2. How delicious! Your slide show makes this babka really easy! The melting chocolate inside is really tempting! I’m confident I can finish entire thing by myself! =D

  3. (why isn’t this blog TEEMING with likes and followers?!!!! Are they mad?… perhaps I should just keep quiet and keep it all to myself…after all, nothing like a delicious guilty little secret from your friends 😉 )

  4. Pingback: Cozy Pumpkin-Cinnamon Rolls for Lazy Weekend Breakfasts « A Little Yumminess

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