Chocolate Pumpkin Babka
Like I said in my Pumpkin Spice Madeleines post, pumpkin season is here and I'm definitely in it for the long run. I had pumpkin puree left over from my madeleine tests, and I had also been testing babkas...so pumpkin babka was the natural next step! I asked people what they wanted to see paired with my pumpkin bread, and chocolate was the winner.
Using this yummy babka base recipe from Pretty Simple Sweet, this chocolate pumpkin babka definitely came out moist, but timing the bake was hard! With all the chocolate filling, sticking a toothpick in the middle to check for raw dough was kind of a bust. My bread was a little too wet in the middle when I cut into it, so I had to throw it back in the oven for an additional couple of minutes.
Either way, the final result was a super decadent chocolate bread 😂
For the dough:
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ¾ teaspoon salt (I used kosher)
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small cubes
- Olive oil for greasing the bowl
For the chocolate filling:
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe's semi-sweet)
- ½ cup unsalted butter
For the sugar syrup:
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- Mix all the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast together in the mixing bowl and then add in the eggs and pumpkin puree.
- As the dough starts to clump together, add in the butter bit by bit and you'll get a sort of wet dough. Keep mixing until it comes together into a more malleable ball of dough (it will be a bit springy when you press it).
- Grease a bowl with some oil, put your ball of dough in it, and let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- After the dough has rested, take it out of the fridge, and start to make the chocolate filling. Get a pot of water boiling, put your chocolate and butter in a bowl to temper over the boiling water.
- Lower the heat but keep it simmering and, once the chocolate and butter has melted and are easily whisked together, start to add in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
- Set your chocolate aside to cool down or even put it in the fridge so it thickens into more of a spreadable paste.
- Now that your dough has warmed up a tiny bit, take some flour and sprinkle it on a table to start rolling out your dough. Cut the ball in half and roll each half out into as much of a rectangle as you can do. Do the halves one at a time so you're making one loaf of bread at a time.
- After the dough has been rolled, spread your chocolate out in a thin layer, but not so thin you can see the dough under the chocolate. Take the longest side and roll it in almost like a cinnamon roll.
- Then, cut the log down the middle and start plaiting your bread. Just take one end and keep pulling it over the other so the cut sides are facing up but it looks like a braid. I then curled the bread to look like an S and placed it in my bread pan that had parchment paper in it.
- Repeat with the other half of the dough and let the bread rise. For me, it took about 2 hours but just check in after an hour to see if the bread has puffed up at all.
- Once the bread has risen, set your oven to 375 degrees and place the bread in once it has been heated. Bake for 30-40 minutes but stick a toothpick or skewer in the middle to try and see if there's any raw dough. Like I said, if you have a lot of chocolate in there, it might be hard to tell, but try your best and poke different places!
- As the bread is baking, heat up the sugar and water together to make a simple syrup and then set aside.
- Once the bread is done, brush the simple syrup on top of each loaf, and use all of the syrup!
If you're feeling something a little less sweet, try out the black sesame version! The only difference is, don't add pumpkin to the dough, and for the filling, mix together 1/2 cup butter with 1/2 cup black sesame powder and 1/4 cup sugar. I also baked this for about 30 minutes or until the toothpick came out clean.