Date Night Babka (Date stuffed dark chocolate babka) by Mandylicious
(makes 2 babkas)
- 1 1/3 cup water (may need up to an additional 1/3 cup water if dough appears too dry)
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tsp table salt
- 3 ¾ cup bread flour
- ½ cup dark cocoa powder
- 1 3.9oz packet of instant chocolate pudding
- ½ cup sugar
- 1.5 tablespoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1 tablespoon instant bread machine yeast
- 1 container of date paste
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon water
Add dry and wet ingredients to a bread machine in the order specified by the manufacturer. Set machine for “dough” cycle.
If not using a bread machine, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, turn out on to a floured board and knead well for 5 minutes. Allow to rise in a large bowl in a dark place, covered with plastic wrap or a towel for 1 ½ hours.
Be sure to check that the dough is the right consistency (not too sticky but not too dry; should be able to hold a shape) adding flour or water, one tablespoon at a time as necessary.
When the dough cycle is complete, remove dough from the bread machine and divide into 2 equal portions. On a floured surface, roll one of the portions into a rope, and using a rolling pin, roll it into a rectangle approximately 12 inches long and 10 inches wide. Spread a thin layer of date paste (approximately 3-4 tablespoons) on the rectangle, being sure to leave around ½ an inch border all around the edge. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cinnamon over the paste. Starting with the long edge of the dough, gently but tightly roll the dough up to the end. Using sharp knife, cut the strand in half the long way (freezing the dough for 10 minutes prior to this will make slicing easier). Lay the halves next to each other, cut side up, and lift one side over the next, twisting the two together. When completed, start on one side of the twist and slowly roll it until it reaches the end, creating a spiral. When you reach the end, tuck the tip under the spiral to complete the circle. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Repeat with the other half of the dough.
Cover each babka with a towel and let rise for 20-30 minutes in a draft-free place.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat egg yolk wither water and brush over the babka.
Bake challahs for approximately 40-45 minutes or until set.
Mandy Silverman grew up in St. Louis, went to college in Ann Arbor (Go Blue!), stuffed her first challah in Pennsylvania, and created Mandylicious nearly 4 years ago in Sharon, MA. She is eternally grateful for the every day inspiration and support from her husband and two children. Check out what crazy challah innovations she will come up with next at www.mandyliciouschallah.com or follow her @Mandyliciouschallah on Facebook and Instagram.