Jumping on the babka bandwagon with both feet with this s’mores chocolate and marshmallow babka recipe, and what’s not to love? This recipe combines bread, chocolate, and s’mores (a sentimental treat in our household, since my husband and I said ‘I love you’ the first time over s’mores).
Babka is a braided sweet bread with Eastern Eurpoean origins believed to derive its name from the Slavic word for grandmother and to have evolved as Jewish bakers added nuts, jam, or cinnamon to left over challah dough. It’s delicious and versatile, so you can have fun experimenting with colorful flavor variations…the perfect excuse to play in the kitchen!
As you may have noticed, we’ve been focusing on the positive and keeping busy at home these last couple of months, and for us, that’s meant more time together and time to focus on our at home passions, like baking and DIY home projects. This past week was all about the babka…and pouring cement, but that’s another story! On to the recipe!
S'more Chocolate Babka
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For the dough:
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
- 1/2 cup heaving whipping cream (you can substitute with half and half or milk)
- Olive oil (for oiling your bowl, only)
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 6 ounces melted chocolate (I used dark chocolate chunks, but you can use chocolate chips or mix up the s’mores flavor by adding peanut butter chips in with the chocolate).
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 ounces marshmallows (optional. For a simple chocolate babka, leave the mallows out. You can also add flavored marshmallows for fun variations)
For the topping (optional):
- 4 graham crackers, crushed
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- In the bowl of your mixer, combine flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.
- Using the kneading hook, mix on low and slowly add in eggs, heavy cream, and vanilla.
- Cut the stick of butter in fourths and add one piece to your dough at a time with the mixer still on low.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium and let your dough knead for 8-10 minutes.
- Roll the dough into a ball, place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let chill overnight.
- The next day, take your dough out ~ 30 minutes prior to prepping your filling.
- For the filling, in your mixer, combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and butter.
- Split your ball of dough into two balls.
- Roll out the first ball into a rectangular sheet of dough ~1/3 inch thick
- Spread the cocoa mixture onto the rolled dough and sprinkle with chocolate chunks and marshmallows (similar to making cinnamon rolls).
- Roll the dough into a cylinder (again, like cinnamon rolls) starting with a shorter length side (you want a longer roll to be able to braid the dough). Now repeat for the second ball of dough.
- Wrap both rolls of dough in plastic wrap, place on a baking sheet, and let chill for ~15 minutes.
- In the meantime, line your loaf pans with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and cut each down the center, lengthwise. Braid the two halves of the roll and pinch the tips together at each end. Place in the loaf pans.
- Let the dough rise for 2 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 350 F and bake for ~35-40 minutes.
- For the topping, combine graham cracker, sugars, butter, vanilla, and cinnamon in a bowl and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 F for ~10-15 minutes.
- Drizzle bread with the topping and melted chocolate. (optional). Serve plain or with whipped cream and strawberries!
While this bread takes some prep time, it’s so good, I’ve made it several times over the last few weeks, trying different variations, including fruit and cream cheese, chocolate, and s’mores…and I’ll soon be trying one with brie, honey and apple!
For more bread baking tips and recipes, check out Flour Water Salt Yeast, Bread Baking for Beginners. or Modern Jewish Baker. and share your babka ideas in the comments below! I’d love to hear about what you’re whipping up at home.