Breads Bakery at 18 East 16th St. NYC has hands down the best Babka I have ever tasted. After trying it for the first time, I knew I had to try and create it at home and man did it pay off - best dessert I have ever made!
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
3/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 packets active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups bread flour, sifted
2 1/2 cups pastry flour, sifted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup, plus 1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
30 oz Nutella
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Start by making the syrup. Add sugar and water to a pot over medium heat and bring it to a boil. Reduce and let it simmer until the sugar dissolves (2 minutes). Remove from the heat and let it cool. You can refrigerate it in an air-tight container for up to 30 days.
Get your dough started by activating the yeast according to the directions on the package.
Pouring the milk into a large bowl and add the yeast mixture.
Add the flour first, then the eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt and half of the butter. Blend until combined with an electric mixer on the lowest speed with a dough hook attachment — about 3 or 4 minutes. You can also use your hands if you like to get down and dirty with your dough!
Increase the mixer speed and slowly add the rest of the butter until combined.
Place the dough on your work surface and knead by hand for about 2 minutes. Then shape it into a square, cover with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 8-12 hours.
Once your dough is nice and cold, roll out your dough [about 1/5 inch thick] and spread the Nutella evenly. Sprinkle it with chocolate chips.
Roll the dough tightly and lay seam-side down. Cut it into thirds, then cut each piece in half length wise.
Lay 2 of the pieces on top of each other to form an X and roll each end of each piece over the other to form a twist with the two pieces. Repeat with the remaining 4 pieces.
Transfer each “braided” loaf to a 8 x 3 pan, tucking the ends under. Cover with a dry towel and let is rise for about an hour.
Set the oven to 350 degrees on convection.
Bake the loaves for 25 minutes each [or just 20 minutes if you’re not using convection].
Remove from the oven and brush immediately with the syrup.
This video from Eden Eats helped me with the braiding
Recipe From Sadie and Co