I’ve wanted to bake a plait after watching all the seasons of The Great British Bake Off on Netflix. The intricacies of the braids and the contrast between the dark and light colors are so beautiful. One of my favorite things to see is the babka. I just love the marbling effect it has. I never really had a reason to make one until Moms Chai sent me some of their authentic Indian chai masala. Made of only four organic ingredients, fennel, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon; I felt the spice from the chai mix would pair nicely with richness and velvety-ness of dark chocolate.
I’ve jumped on the babka bandwagon. Albeit a bit late. The food internet and Instagram are plastered with gorgeous striated and twisted strands of dough already so why should I add my own? Mostly because I’ve never done it before. You see, yeasted baked goods have always been scary to me. I’ve killed so many batches of yeast that I’ve lost count. For me, this was conquering a fear and maybe even pretending I’m in a ginormous outdoor tent baking with eleven other contestants (ahem, TGBBS reference). I’ll admit, I went through two batches of yeast for this bread, but I did it. Also, I plaited my first ever baked good! Not the best plait in the world, it could have been slightly tighter in the center, but hey, practice makes perfect.
Would I plait again? Definitely. And you can plait too! I have an exclusive promo code to buy Moms Chai 20% off. Use code SANDY20 at checkout!
Chocolate Chai Babka
- 1 packet active yeast
- 1 cup milk, warmed
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- 1 egg white + water
- 6 ounces (quality) dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 4 teaspoons chai malasa (Moms Chai recommended)
- Step 1 Pour warmed milk into the stand mixer bowl with the dough hook attachment (it should be lukewarm) and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. The mixture should be foamy
- Step 2 if not, start over.
- Step 3 In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, and salt.
- Step 4 Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract to the bowl and mix on low.
- Step 5 Slowly add the flour mixture to the bowl and scrape down the bowl every minute or so.
- Step 6 Once all the flour is added, mix for about two minutes.
- Step 7 Add all the butter to the bowl and mix for about 5 minutes on low. A dough will form.
- Step 8 Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and allow to proof for 1-2 hours.
- Step 9 Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into the shape of a rectangle. Wrap in saran wrap and allow dough to rest in the refrigerator for one hour up to 24 hours.
- Step 10 Meanwhile, create the filling by mixing all the ingredients by hand.
- Step 11 Line a pan with parchment paper.
- Step 12 Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until about 20″x16″.
- Step 13 Evenly spread the filling across the dough.
- Step 14 Roll the dough from the long edge into a tight log.
- Step 15 Roll the log back and forth to stretch out the dough until about 24-26″ in length.
- Step 16 Place the dough onto the parchment paper lined pan.
- Step 17 Cut the dough lengthwise in half leaving one end still connected by about 1/4″. Twist the two halves to have the cut side up.
- Step 18 Cross the two strands around each other and pull the braid into a circle. Tuck the ends into circle.
- Step 19 Allow the dough to proof again for another 30 minutes.
- Step 20 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Step 21 Bake for 40-45 minutes. The babka should be golden brown in color.
- Step 22 Move babka to a cooling rack to cool completely before serving.