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Chocolate Pistachio Babka

Chocolate Pistachio Babka

Ribbons of chocolate and crushed pistachios swirled throughout a rich brioche dough and glazed with vanilla sugar syrup
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Rising Time 6 hours 45 minutes
Total Time 7 hours 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 8 servings


Babka Dough

  • ½ cup (114g) whole milk, warmed to 110F - 115F
  • 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup (50g)+ 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ cups (270g) all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (57g) unsalted butter, room temperature

Chocolate Pistachio Filling

  • ¼ cup (57g) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (85g) dark chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli 60% chocolate bar.)
  • ¼ cup (57g) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup (56g) pistachios, finely chopped (I use lightly salted pistachios.)

Sugar Syrup

  • ¼ cup (57g) water
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Babka Dough

  • Place the milk in a small measuring cup Sprinkle the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the granulated sugar over the milk. Let the mixture stand until bubbly and foamy, about 5 minutes.
  • In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, combine the flour, ¼ cup of granulated sugar and salt.
  • Add egg, egg yolks and milk mixture and beat on low speed until nearly incorporated, about 30 seconds.
  • Replace the paddle attachment to the dough hook attachment and knead on low speed for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the butter, a few pieces at a time, until all the butter has been incorporated into the dough. This can take a few minutes.
  • Turn the speed up to medium and knead for 3 minutes, until the dough is elastic and smooth. It will still be sticky.
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. The dough will still be sticky. Transfer to a large buttered bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  • Press the dough down with your hands, re-cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight.

Chocolate Filling

  • In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the butter, chocolate, cream, powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt.
  • Heat until just simmering, and steam comes off the surface of the mixture.
  • Transfer chocolate mixture to a bowl and let cool until thickened to a spreadable consistency, like peanut butter.

Babka Assembly

  • Lightly butter an 8×4-inch loaf pan. Line with parchment with a 2-inch overhang on the long sides.
  • Turn out chilled dough onto a clean lightly floured surface. Roll out to a 16x12" rectangle with a short side facing you.
  • Spread the chocolate filling over the rolled-out dough. Sprinkle the pistachios over the chocolate.
  • Starting at the short side closest to you, roll the dough into a tight coil, and pinch the seam to seal.
  • Using a bench scraper or a sharp knife, cut the roll in half lengthwise. Turn the pieces so that the cut side is facing up.
  • Pinch two of the end pieces together. Twist the halves together, keeping the cut sides facing up, and tuck the ends under. Gently place in a prepared loaf pan.
  • Loosely cover the pans and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until risen to the edge of the pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Bake babka loaf, rotating pan halfway through, until deep golden brown, 40-45 minutes. If the bread is getting too dark, cover with aluminum foil to prevent burning. The internal temperature should read 190F when fully baked.
  • While the babka bakes, make the sugar syrup by combining the water and sugar in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat.
  • Brush the loaf with the syrup immediately after removing from the oven. Let the babka cool for 30 minutes in the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Babka dough recipe adapted from Fine Cooking: Citrus-Almond Babka by Samantha Seneviratne
Bakba will stay fresh for up to 24 hours at room temperature wrapped well or stored in an airtight container.
Babka can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw on the counter.
Keyword babka, brioche, chocolate pistachio, chocolate pistachio babka
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