Pumpkin Chocolate Babka

Fall is in the air and the last couple of days have been nice and cool. It totally gets me in the mood for baking! This year I’m trying out two new bread recipes….haha so far! One of them being this Pumpkin Chocolate Babka. I’ve never made a sweet flavored yeast bread before but the pumpkin comes through nicely.

Ingredients

Pumpkin Bread

  • ⅓ cup whole milk warm
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 5 Tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch ground ginger
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch allspice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (more if needed)

Chocolate Filling

  • 5 Tablespoons butter
  • ⅔ cups sugar
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 5 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Syrup

  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ Tablespoon honey

Directions

  1. In a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine the warm milk, yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and ⅓ cup of the flour and allow it to sit until foamy.
  2. Add in the pumpkin, butter, egg, salt, and spices and mix to combine. Add in the remaining flour, bit by bit, until completely incorporated, then knead for 5 minutes at medium-high speed using the dough hook of a stand mixer, until the dough is smooth. ***(I tripled the recipe and needed to add about an extra cup of flour to the recipe. And so when making bread, always go off of feel rather than the exact recipe! You want the bread to be pulling away from the sides of the bowl).
  3. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and set it in a warm spot for 2-3 hrs.
  4. When dough is about ready to be formed into a loaf, prepare a 9-inch loaf pan by lining it with a parchment paper sling, which will make it easy to remove the loaf when it is done baking.
  5. Prepare the chocolate filling by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, then stirring in the sugar until almost completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add in the chopped chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth, then add the cocoa powder and stir to combine and form a thick filling.
  6. Take the risen dough and turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a 12×20-inch rectangle and then spread the chocolate filling evenly across the dough, spreading it all the way to the edges. **(I wish I didn’t spread the chocolate as thick as I did because it overpowered the pumpkin, so if you don’t use all the chocolate, that’s ok)
  7. Roll the long edge of the dough into a tight log, just like when making cinnamon rolls, and pinch the edges closed. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to slice the dough in half lengthwise, Then with the cut sides facing up, cross one end over the other and repeat all the way down the length of the dough, keeping the cut sides facing up while wrapping the two lengths of dough around each other to form a rope or twist. Cut the ends off and toss away.
  8. Gently lift the twisted loaf and squish it into your prepared pan. Set in a warm place, covered with a clean towel, to rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until almost doubled in size.
  9. While dough is rising, prepare the syrup by combining the water, sugar, and honey and bringing it to a boil in a small saucepan. Let the syrup boil for 4 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  10. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. When oven is hot, bake the babka for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out mostly clean or 170 degrees internally (it’s hard to miss the chocolate streaks so chances are it won’t be perfectly clean. Remove the cooked babka from the oven and drizzle it with the room temperature syrup. I only used about half of the syrup and thought it was perfect but you could easily use more if you want to add more sweetness and have a moister babka.
  11. Wait until the babka is completely cool before removing it from the pan and slicing to serve.
Spread chocolate to the edges.
Roll up into long rectangle
Cut down the center, exposing the insides
Cross over and continue to twist
Once twisted, place in pan with parchment paper
This is another way to make the loaf. Simply roll up the twisted dough instead of placing into a rectangle pan.

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