Chocolate and Coconut Babka

Since I was was a bit too young to watch Seinfeld during its original broadcast (I was only 8 years old when The Finale was aired), I only recently finished watching all 9 series of this sitcom classic.

In one particular episode Jerry and Elaine want to buy something to bring to a dinner party: a Babka (although their babka is more of a cake than a bread I think).

So for our family Easter lunch I decided to make a chocolate Babka (well, in true Huisman style it was only a small part of the lunch). The recipe looked very good (terrifying quantities of chocolate is always a good sign), but I thought the bread was a bit dry. So I decided to come up with my own recipe (terrible pic, but you get the idea).

As usual this recipe is a concoction of bits of other recipes. The dough is pretty much the same as the one I used in my Raspberry and Chocolate Rolls (which I nicked from Nigella), the filling is inspired by this recipe by Holly Bell and the shaping technique is from this recipe.

Chocolate and Coconut Babka

Ingredients

Bread Dough
– 310g flour
– 1 sachet of dry action yeast
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 50g sugar
– 50g butter
– 200ml milk
– 1 egg

Filling
– 150g milk chocolate (update: tried it with both milk and dark chocolate, milk is nicer
– 75g dessicated coconut
– 50g sugar
– 50g butter

Topping
– 15g butter
– 20g flour
– 30g desiccated coconut
– 15g sugar

Step 1. Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in bowl. Make sure to not put the salt on the yeast).
Step 2. Melt the butter, mix it with the milk and beat in the egg. I usually just melt the butter in the microwave in a measuring jug and then add the milk and egg. If the butter sets a bit again that’s no real problem.

Step 3. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients while using the dough hooks of a mixer. Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes. The dough will always be sticky and soft, but should at least sort of come away from the side of the bowl at the end. Cover the bowl (I always put it in a plastic bag) and let it rise for at least an hour.

Step 4. Chop the chocolate till it quite fine (you can use a kitchen machine). Melt the putter, mix the chocolate with the sugar and coconut, and then add the butter.

Step 5. Once the dough has risen enough knock the air out of it and tip it onto a really well floured work surface. Form it into a ball (using plenty of flour, it’s awfully sticky) and then roll it out into a rectangular shape of about 40cm by 50cm.

Step 6. Divide the chocolate and coconut mixture (except for a tablespoon or two) over the dough.

Start rolling on the long side of the dough till you have a nice roll. Cut of the ends where is hardly any filling.

Step 7. Now comes the interesting bit: the shaping. First you want to get about 5-6 twists in the roll of dough.

Then put the remaining bit of filling on one side of the roll and fold the other half on top of that.

Twist the folded roll another 2-3 times and then place it in a loaf tin (buttered/sprayed and lined with baking paper)

put it in a plastic bag (I always blow air into it and seal it with a clothes peg) and leave to proof for an hour or so.
Step 8. Once the dough has risen enough mix the butter, flour, coconut and sugar. Divide this mixture over the loaf.

Step 9. Bake for about 30 minutes at 190°C (175°C for fan ovens).

Enjoy!

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