Nutella & Bourbon Babka

Remember when Jerry & Elaine had to get the “lesser babka” – the cinnamon one – because the last, greater babka – the chocolate one – was sold right in front of them?

It was the first thing I thought of when this Sandwich-inspired Babka article was recently published in a Lucky Peach newsletter. I thought to myself: what would be the ultimate babka?  It would have to pair perfectly with a nice cup of coffee or black tea, enjoyed while sitting in a comfy chair, with some softly lulling melody that wouldn’t require too much attention.  I’d need time to simmer on this…

Upon passing through the nut-butter aisle of my local market, the bold sans-serifed: n u t e l l a logo jumped out at me #goodmarketingguys.  And on the fourth day, the nutella and bourbon babka with blood-orange glaze was born.  Let me know what you think of the recipe!

INGREDIENTS

The babka:

  • 5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 package of instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • zest of 1 blood orange
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

The filling:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup dark or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup nutella
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

The glaze:

  • Juice of 1 blood orange (+ enough water to make 1/2 cup of liquid)
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar

DIRECTIONS

  • Combine 1 cup of the flour (reserve 4 cups) with yeast and warm water; cover with a towel and let rise for 30-40 minutes (it should look all bubbly).
  • Add salt, sugar, oil, eggs, orange zest, and vanilla and stir until combined; then add the remaining flour slowly and mix.  Gently knead the dough on a floured work surface until it becomes smooth and then let it sit in a bowl until it has risen (about 2x in size) for at least one hour
  • While you’re waiting for your dough to rise, you can start making the filling.  In a small saucepan on low heat, melt butter, chocolate, and nutella together until smooth.  Slowly add in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar and stir until smooth.
  • Once the dough has risen, punch it down on a floured work surface and divide into 2 equal parts.  Roll each piece out into a long rectangular shape and place on a piece of parchment paper, then spread filling over the top of each.  Stack the pieces and roll it into a tight coil.  To keep it together, wrap in the parchment paper and use a piece of tape to keep it securely coiled.  Refrigerate overnight (or keep in freezer for 30 minutes if you’re in a crunch).
  • After chilling, cut the log lengthwise, and with the cut sides up twist the 2 pieces together.
  • Place on a parchment lined pan and bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes.
  • While the babka bakes, you can make the blood orange glaze! In a small saucepan, add the orange juice and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves and thickens slightly.
  • Remove babka from oven and brush some glaze over it and let them cool for a bit before serving!

blood orange zest:

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combining zest, eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla into the flour + yeast mixture:

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pretty blood oranges:

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blood orange glaze in the making:

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pre-risen dough ball:

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risen dough after about 90 minutes:

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rolling out the babka dough:

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baked in a cast iron pan:

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baked in a loaf pan:

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bon appetit my lovelies!

xx, huckleberry kim

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