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Chocolate Poppy Seed Babka

This Chocolate Poppy Seed Babka is made with rich brioche dough. Poppy seeds add extra flavor to the rich, smooth, and super chocolaty filling. It’s a comforting and delicious treat and an all-time favorite at home and whenever I take it somewhere. Every bite is soft and buttery and filled with chocolate goodness. It is irresistible warm with a cup of coffee. 
BTW:  Babka means “little Grandma”  how sweet is that.  

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I don’t know what I love more, chocolate or a slice of soft, sweet bread. When I put the two together, I have Chocolate Poppy Seed Babka. Once you master this bread, you will want to make my Apple Cinnamon Pastry Twist and my Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls.

baking ingredients on counter top

What do I Need to Make This Chocolate Poppy Seed Babka Dough?

YEAST – SAF Gold and Patience: You need patience because the dough requires several long rest periods and then a long rise period. When the dough has sugar, butter, and eggs, it takes longer to rise fully. The Gold yeast is formulated specifically for this type of dough. You can use the red, but it may require longer resting and rise periods. 

Butter, Sugar, Eggs, and Milk.  These are the soul of the dough and give it that rich pastry taste that we love. 

Flour and Water:  Bread flour gives a little more structure to this rich sweet dough, helping it rise and stay soft and airy. 

How To Make The Dough:

Add the salt and yeast to the flour. Then add everything else into the bowl of a Stand Mixer.  Add the flour mixture on top and mix. Once the mixture is mixed together, turn the mixer to medium, and with the dough hook attachment, mix for 10 minutes until you have a soft, smooth dough. The dough shouldn’t be sticky. Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes. Then refrigerate for several hours or overnight. 

Assemble the Chocolate Poppy Seed Babka Loaf.

Once the dough has chilled, make the chocolate poppy seed filling. I use King Arthur Flour  Bakers Chocolate Filling Mix. It is a quick and straightforward chocolate filling mix. Follow the instructions on the bag. You will add melted butter, water, and poppy seeds to the mix. Stir to mix in, and it is ready to spread on the dough. If you don’t have the Bakers Chocolate filling, I have included a recipe for the chocolate ganache in the recipe notes below. The ganache recipe makes a generous amount of filling. The leftover is delicious spread on graham crackers or vanilla wafers as a snack if you want less filling in the babka. 

Roll out the dough into a rectangle about 10 X 12 inches. Spread the filling on the dough and roll up like a cinnamon roll into a cylinder or cigar shape.   

Cut the cylinder down the middle with a sharp knife by pressing the blade down to the cutting board.  

Separate the two halves and lay one half on top of the other half. Cut sides up. (see picture or video) Twist the two halves into a simple braid. Tuck in the ends and place in a parchment-lined standard loaf pan that is 8 1/2 X 4-inches. 

Bake the Chocolate Poppy Seed Babka Loaf. 

Lightly brush with an egg wash, cover, and let rise for two hours. Brush lightly with more egg wash. During the last 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven. Bake for 55 minutes or until the temperature in the center of the loaf is 190 – 195 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.

Store at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. The Babka also freezes well in an airtight container for up to 2 months. 

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dessert bread and coffee

Chocolate Poppy Seed Babka

Chocolate Babka is a mildly sweet rich yeast dough - swirled together with dark rich chocolate to create a delicious loaf of bread.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
resting and rising time 6 hours: 6 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 15 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Bread, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: babka, Breakfast Bread, chocolate bread recipe, chocolate recipe, dessert bread, sweet bread
Servings: 12 pieces
Calories: 274kcal

Equipment

  • stand mixer
  • This page contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click a link, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you

Ingredients

Pastry Dough

  • 3 tbsp. butter (50g)
  • ¼ cup whole milk (50g)
  • ¼ cup water (50g)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (50g)
  • 1 large egg
  • cups bread flour (270g)
  • 2 tsp SAF Gold Yeast
  • 1 tsp salt

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp milk

Chocolate Poppyseed Filling

  • 3/4 cup Chocolate filling mix
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • tbsp. water
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 3 tbsp. poppy seeds

Instructions

Make the Pastry Dough

  • Mix the yeast, salt, and flour together.
  • Put all of the rest of the pastry ingredients into the stand mixer bowl.
  • Add the flour on top and mix for 2 minutes on low.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix on medium for 10 minutes.
  • Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Then refrigerate the dough for 2-3 hours or as long as overnight.

Make the Chocolate Filling

  • I use King Arthur Flour Chocolate Filling Mix (click here to purchase) see notes for optional chocolate ganache recipe.
  • Add the poppy seeds, melted butter, and water to the filling mix and stir to combine.

Assemble the Twisted Loaf

  • Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface until it is about 10 X 12 inches.
  • Spread the chocolate filling on the dough. Sprinkle with the optional chopped pecans.
  • Roll up like it is a cinnamon roll (shape of a cigar or cylinder).
  • Cut the cylinder in half, lengthwise pressing all the way to the table with a sharp blade.
  • Separate the two halves and place one half over the center of the other half. Cut side up. The two halves form an X.
  • Twist the strands to form a simple braid. (see the video)
  • Tuck in the ends and place the braid in a parchment-lined standard Loaf Pan that is 8½ X 4-inches.
  • Lightly brush with egg wash, cover, and let rise for 2 hours.
  • During the last 30 minutes of rising preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.
  • Gently brush again with the egg wash and bake for 50 - 75 minutes. Check the internal temperature at 50 minutes with an instant-read thermometer continue baking until the internal temperature reaches 190-degrees F.
  • Remove from the oven to a cooling rack.

Video

Notes

Storing:
The Babka Loaf can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the fridge for 4-5 days. 
Freeze in an airtight container for 1-2 months. Defrost overnight and serve. 
Chocolate Poppy Seed Ganache recipe: 1/2 cup butter, cubed, 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, 1/3 cup baking cocoa, and 3 tbsp. Poppy Seeds. Method:  melt butter and chocolate in the microwave.  stir in the rest of the ingredients and spread on the rolled-out dough. 
Any leftover filling is fabulous with vanilla wafers or graham crackers as a snack. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 274kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 279mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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