Vegan Chocolate Babka
Vegan Chocolate Babka (from lauren melissa: plant based baker)
3/4 cup almond milk
2 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups (340 g) flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup coconut oil, softened
2 Tbsp earth balance butter, softened
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup chocolate chunks or chips
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp water
Preheat your oven to its lowest temperature. Once it's preheated, shut it off.
Make the dough first. Heat the almond milk so it's warm--you should be able to touch it without burning yourself.
Add the yeast and 1 tsp of sugar, stirring to combine.
Allow the yeast to activate for about 10 minutes.
While you're waiting for the yeast, combine the rest of the sugar, four, and salt in a large bowl.
Using your fingers, rub in the coconut oil and butter.
Add the wet ingredients, using a wooden spoon to mix.
When the dough comes together, turn it out on a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.
The dough should bounce back lightly when fully kneaded.
Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with a clean towel, and place it in the warm oven to prove for 40-60 minutes, or until doubled in size.
While the dough is rising, make the filling. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Taste the filling and adjust the ingredients to your liking.
Line and grease a bread tin.
After the dough has doubled, place it on a floured surface and knead to knock back some of the air. Roll it out into a 12" x 16" rectangle.
Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 1/2" border on all sides for rolling.
Sprinkle or place the chocolate chips.
Tightly roll the dough beginning with the long side. Cut about 1/2" off the ends to make it even.
Cut the log in half lengthwise.
With the cut sides up, begin to twist the dough together.
Pinch the bottom end together to keep the dough in place.
Lift one side over the other, making a twist.
Carefully transfer the bread to the greased bread tin.
Tuck the bread in so it fits into your tin.
Place back in the warm oven to rise for 60-90 minutes, then remove it from the oven.
Preheat the oven to 325.
Bake babka for 40-45 minutes (it will be golden brown).
While the babka is baking, make the sugar syrup.
Boil the water and stir the sugar in until it's dissolved.
Remove the babka from the oven and brush with the sugar syrup.
Allow the babka to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
Remove and serve warm.
Last week, I returned to Oklahoma to begin moving my apartment into the rental house. All week I moved over small boxes in 100° weather. Saturday was the big moving day; my friend Noah and her boyfriend Zach helped me load the larger items. I should've baked this babka in advance to share with them, but my moving brain could only manage to make tater tots and chicken nuggets.
I woke up the next day in my new house and had to bake something. Although my clothes and odds and ends were still in boxes, the kitchen was ready to go (I unpacked the kitchen as it made its way over throughout the week). I wanted to make something that I knew I had the ingredients for. I saved a vegan chocolate babka recipe a while ago and knew my pantry contained everything I needed. I decided to christen the kitchen and a new bread tin with it. The whole house smelled wonderful--smelled like home.
This babka was inspired by the chocolate babka from Trader Joe's. I have to avoid the bakery section every time I'm in there because the babka calls to me. While it's not vegan, it doesn't directly contain any milk. This is good enough for me, but I'm trying to up my vegan baking game. Because I like to share my baked goods, making them vegan means that more folks in the office can enjoy.
I modified the original recipe just a tad. It uses coconut sugar instead of cane sugar, but coconut sugar isn't something I generally have in my pantry. The regular sugar works just fine. I also opted to knead the bread by hand rather than use a stand mixer--baking is just more satisfying when you get to use your hands. If you'd rather use a mixer, feel free!
To make this babka gluten-free, I'd use a GF flour blend and measure it by weight rather than cups. You'll see I included the weight measurement for the flour so you can play with gluten-free flours.
This recipe is going to become a staple recipe for me. While it was baking, I envisioned adding orange extract and zest to the filling to make it orange chocolate--perfect for holidays!
Now I can go to Trader Joe's and resisting the babka will be that much easier.