Double Chocolate Sourdough Babka

Sharing is caring!

This double chocolate sourdough babka is a gooey, delicious brioche loaded with a buttery chocolate filling and dark chocolate chips. This simple sourdough recipe is enriched with butter, eggs, milk, and sugar–and a filled with a decadent dark chocolate swirl. Perfect for special occasions, holidays, and any time you need to satisfying a chocolate craving.

It never ceases to amaze me how delicious sourdough bread can be. The more sourdough I bake, the more I love not just the process of making sourdough, but also all of the delicious varieties of breads and desserts.

This double chocolate sourdough babka is currently my family’s favorite dessert (and breakfast). I made one for my family, and we ate it up within a day or two.

Then, I made another for when we had guests. It was gone almost immediately. And now there has been a request to bring one for a holiday dessert. That will be my third batch in two weeks!

It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve made sourdough babka lately; we just can’t get enough of it.

If you are looking for something sweet that will win over the hearts of any chocolate lover, this double chocolate sourdough babka is for you!

What is babka?

This history of babka traces back to 19th century Eastern Europe. A traditional Jewish dessert, babka is a sweet, braided bread that is considered both part cake and part bread

As a way to up extra challah dough, Jewish bakers would roll up the dough with cinnamon or other fillings and bake it.

Though babka is now popular throughout the United States, it was mostly unknown to the US until it was popularized in New York City Jewish bakeries.

There are practically endless recipes for babka fillings. But the most popular are usually cinnamon or chocolate. This recipe calls for an extra-gooey chocolate filling.

Tips for Making Sourdough Babka

the dough and filling

  • This is a wet dough. So even though it seems like you should add more flour, try to resist. Too much flour will yield a tougher bread. With that said, if you feel that you do need more flour, just add it one tablespoon at a time. But remember, you want a dough that is stickier and wetter than a traditional bread dough.
  • If you want EXTRA chocolatey babka, use all of the filling recipe for one half of the dough. Use the other half for an easy brioche loaf. This is how I make mine each time. But do keep in mind your babka will be really gooey, so be prepared for a lot of chocolate. I recommend baking it with a cookie sheet underneath to catch any overflow.
  • If chocolate isn’t your thing, try a cinnamon filling instead. The filling for my sourdough cinnamon roll recipe would be perfect for this!

baking tips

  • If the top of your babka is browning before the center is ready, tent it with a piece of foil and continue baking. This tends to happen in my oven. Using foil to cover once it is golden has worked great.
  • Double the dough recipe, and make yourself brioche! If I’m already making dough, I like to get the most out of my time. Once your dough is finished proofing, use a bench scraper to cut it in half. Use one portion for your sourdough babka, and the use the other for a quick brioche.
  • All purpose flour can be used if that is what you have on hand, but it may not be quite as fluffy. However, it will still be delicious.
  • Freeze dried eggs work great in this recipe! Two tablespoons of eggs and two tablespoons of water equals one egg.

How to Shape Babka

Divide your proofed dough into two portions. This will make two loaves, so follow these steps for each half:

Roll out one half of the dough into, roughly, a 10″x14″ rectangle. You can trim excess dough to make a straight edge. But I often find that I can neatly shape the edges with my hands.

If that’s tricky for you (it took me a few tries to figure out how), trim away with a pizza cutter.

Spread half of the filling on the dough using a silicone spatula. Leave about an inch of dough exposed on one short end.

Then, roll from one short end to the other. Pinch the seam and do your best to tidy the ends. I usually pinch them closed and fold them over.

Using a serrated knife, cut the rolled dough long ways. Be sure you cut it entirely in half so that you have two, long sections.

Twist the two sections 3-4 times (or as many as you reasonably can). You can gently stretch the long longways to help squeeze in an extra twist for aesthetics.

Place in a buttered loaf pan. And repeat the same steps for the other half of the dough.

How to Store Sourdough Babka

Honestly, we hardly make it to this point. This sourdough babka doesn’t last long in our house at all. But if you find yourself with leftovers, you can store it in an airtight container at room temperature for about 3 days.

I do find that fluffy breads like this get stale quickly. So if you find that your bread is a little stale but still edible, warming it up can help.

Is it safe to allow the dough to sit out with eggs in it?

When fermenting dough enriched with eggs, I have not had any issues. Most of the time, I use farm fresh eggs that I get locally, so I feel comfortable letting them sit out.

However, if you prefer you can allow your dough to sit on the countertop for 4 hours, then stick in the fridge for the remainder of the time. This will, however, slow down the fermenting and rising process.

If you opt to put your dough in the fridge, you won’t get the exact benefit of the fermented grains. And the flavor might be slightly different. Still, it will be delicious.

Sample Baker’s Schedule

Though this can be made in one day, this is the schedule I use for making my sourdough babka.

Generally, I find it easier to bake the next day. It often works better for my schedule.

But if you need to squeeze it in on a single day, you definitely can. If that’s the case, I do recommend chilling your dough for a few hours after your bulk ferment. That can help with shaping.

The night before making dough

  • 10:00 pm: Feed sourdough starter

The next day

  • 8:00 am: Make dough
  • 8:20 am: Cover dough and allow to rise for about 8 hours or until doubled
  • 4:00 pm: Place in the fridge overnight.

The following morning

  • 8:00 am: Mix filling ingredients, roll out the dough
  • 8:15 am: Smooth filling on dough, roll, cut, braid
  • 8:20 am: Place in loaf pan and let rise for 4 hours or until doubled
  • 12:20 am: Bake babka at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until internal temp reaches 200 degrees.

Tools You May Need

Double Chocolate Sourdough Babka Ingredients

This recipe was adapted from Farmhouse on Boone’s Chocolate Babka.

  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour (plus a few tablespoons extra if needed)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup active sourdough starter

How to Make Double Chocolate Sourdough Babka

Get started

  1. Feed your starter 4-12 hours before you are ready start the dough. The amount of time will vary depending on your starter. Just make sure it is active and bubbly when you are ready to get started.

Make the dough

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all dough ingredients. Mix, according to manufacturer’s recommendations, until the dough combined and smooth. For my mixer, this is about 10-12 minutes on low speed. This is supposed to be a wet dough, so try not to add flour. But if you really need to, add only a tablespoon at a time. But it should be wetter and stickier than a traditional dough.
  2. Put dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap, a lid, or damp towel and place in a warm spot for about 8 hours or until doubled. If time is an issue, once the dough has doubled, you can place it in the fridge overnight.

the next day

  1. Using a mixer, cream together the cocoa powder, sugar, and butter. Set aside.
  2. Divide the dough into two portions.
  3. Roll out one half of the dough into approximately 10″x14″ rectangle. It’s okay if it’s bigger or small, but you’ll want it to fit in your loaf pan. Adjust accordingly.
  4. Using a silicone spatula, spread half of the chocolate filling on the dough. Leave an inch or so of dough exposed on one short end.
  5. Roll from short end to short end. Pinch the seam together and pinch the ends together. Try to keep the filling on the inside (this get be a little tricky on the ends. I like to pinch and fold them under).
  6. Using a serrated knife, cut the rolled dough in half longways (from short end to short end).
  7. Twist 3-4 times. I like to gently stretch the dough longways while I do this. That can help add an extra twist for aesthetics.
  8. Place in buttered loaf pan.
  9. Repeat Steps 6-11 for second half.
  10. Allow both babkas to rise again for about 4 hours or until doubled.
  11. Once doubled, bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until internal temp reaches 200 degrees.

More of my favorite sourdough recipes

Double chocolate sourdough babke

Double Chocolate Sourdough Babka

Yield: 2 loaves
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 30 minutes

This double chocolate sourdough babka is a gooey, delicious brioche loaded with a buttery chocolate filling and dark chocolate chips. This simple sourdough recipe is enriched with butter, eggs, milk, and sugar--and a filled with a decadent dark chocolate swirl. Perfect for special occasions, holidays, and any time you need to satisfying a chocolate craving.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour (plus a few tablespoons extra if needed)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup active sourdough starter

Chocolate Filling

  • 1/3 cup dutch process cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 oz dark chocolate chips, chopped

Instructions

  1. Feed your starter 4-12 hours before you are ready start the dough. The amount of time will vary depending on your starter. Just make sure it is active and bubbly when you are ready to get started.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all dough ingredients. Mix, according to manufacturer's recommendations, until the dough combined and smooth. For my mixer, this is about 10-12 minutes on low speed. This is supposed to be a wet dough, so try not to add flour. But if you really need to, add only a tablespoon at a time. But it should be wetter and stickier than a traditional dough.
  3. Put dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap, a lid, or damp towel and place in a warm spot for about 8 hours or until doubled. If time is an issue, once the dough has doubled, you can place it in the fridge overnight.
  4. Using a mixer, cream together the cocoa powder, sugar, and butter. Set aside.
  5. Divide the dough into two portions.
  6. Roll out one half of the dough into approximately 10"x14" rectangle. It's okay if it's bigger or small, but you'll want it to fit in your loaf pan. Adjust accordingly.
  7. Using a silicone spatula, spread half of the chocolate filling on the dough. Leave an inch or so of dough exposed on one short end.
  8. Roll from short end to short end. Pinch the seam together and pinch the ends together. Try to keep the filling on the inside (this get be a little tricky on the ends. I like to pinch and fold them under).
  9. Using a serrated knife, cut the rolled dough in half longways (from short end to short end).
  10. Twist 3-4 times. I like to gently stretch the dough longways while I do this. That can help add an extra twist for aesthetics.
  11. Place in buttered loaf pan.
  12. Repeat Steps 6-11 for second half.
  13. Allow both babkas to rise again for about 4 hours or until doubled.
  14. Once doubled, bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until internal temp reaches 200 degrees.

Notes

  • If the top of your babka is browning before the center is ready, tent it with a piece of foil and continue baking.
  • If you want EXTRA chocolatey babka, use all of the filling recipe for one half of the dough. Use the other half for an easy brioche loaf. This is how I make mine each time. But do keep in mind your babka will be really gooey, so be prepared for a lot of chocolate. I recommend baking it with a cookie sheet underneath to catch any overflow.
  • This is a wet dough. So even though it seems like you should add more flour, try to resist. Too much flour will yield a tougher bread. With that said, if you feel that you do need more flour, just add it one tablespoon at a time. But remember, you want a dough that is stickier and wetter than a traditional bread dough.
  • All purpose flour can be used if that is what you have on hand, but it may not be quite as fluffy. However, it will still be delicious.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 261Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 21mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 13gProtein: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: No-Knead Sourdough Bread for Beginners - moon + magnolia
  2. Pingback: Superfood Veggie Soup - moon + magnolia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *