To be honest with you, I hadn’t heard of babka until about a week before making this. I did a bunch of research and fell down a babka rabbit hole where I found that it’s EVERYWHERE. How had I never seen one before?? Let alone try one. Then I realized it was a challenge on The Great British Baking Show and felt pretty ashamed of myself. ANYWAY…it’s amazing. It’s bread…it’s sweet…and there’s chocolate. ‘Nuff said. I was pretty intimidated by it too. It looks complex and messy but it’s actually pretty straight forward and easy to make. I’m also not the best when it comes to working with yeast and I rarely ever use my dough hook. So if I can do it, you can too!
As I was researching, Smitten Kitchen’s recipe kept coming up so I decided to go for it. It was definitely the right choice because A. it’s fool proof and B. it’s delicious. But, I wanted to mix it up and try a different filling so I found another babka recipe by Tasty and saw that they used turbinado sugar. I loved the idea of a crunch and I also have a big jug of that sugar laying around from Alison Roman’s chocolate chip cookies (and I’m sure you do too!). As for the flavor, I’m not a big fan of orange and chocolate but it just works here. It’s like a whisper of orange and an marching band of chocolate.
In a nutshell; it’s delicious, it’s easier than it looks, and you’ll feel so accomplished when it comes out perfect (and it will!). Whether you’re new to babka or you’ve already heard of or made one, I hope you try this one out!