Babkallah is a decadent chocolate swirled loaf that is a mash up of babka and challah breads. Perfect for special occasions or weekend mornings.
Yield: 12 servings
For the dough
  • ½ cup (113 g) whole milk
  • 2.25 tsp active dry yeast
  • ⅓ cup (70 g) sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (390 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 4 oz (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
Filling and Assembly
  • 6 oz (170 g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup (65 g) packed brown sugar
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp (57 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • pearl sugar, for sprinkling on top
For the dough
  1. Warm the milk on the stovetop over low heat until it's about 105F. Pour into a large bowl. Whisk in the yeast until it is dissolved, then let it rest until the yeast becomes foamy, about 5-10 minutes. This will indicate that the yeast is active and ready to rise. If the yeast never foams up then discard and start again with new yeast.
  2. Add the sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla to the yeast mixture. Whisk to combine. Add in the flour, salt, and butter. Mix with a wooden spoon (or your hands) until a rough dough forms. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, or until smooth. (Alternatively, you can knead it in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook on medium speed for 5-8 minutes.)
  3. Place the dough in a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1.5-2.5 hours.
For filling and assembly
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the chocolate, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a clean work surface. Divide it into three equal pieces. Shape each dough piece into a rope that's about 12 inches long. Roll each piece into a 12x6-inch rectangle.
  3. Brush each dough rectangle with the butter. Sprinkle with the chocolate mixture, dividing it evenly among the 3 portions of dough, leaving a ½-inch border along one long edge of the dough. Starting on the long edge without the clean border, roll each rectangle to form a spiraled log. Pinch the seams to seal.
  4. Place the logs seam side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pinch all three logs together at one end and then braid them. Pinch the opposite ends together to seal the braid together. Tuck both dough ends underneath the braid. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until it is 1.5x its original size, about 1-2 hours.
  5. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350F.
  6. When ready to bake, brush the braid with the egg. Sprinkle with the pearl sugar. Bake until the bread is a deep brown, about 35-45 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.
Recipe from Dessert Person
Recipe by Joanne Eats Well With Others at