Ease of preparation: Medium
Yield: 6 servings
½ cup milk (120 ml), warmed
1/3 cup (80 ml) sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) active dry yeast
3 ½ cups flour (840 ml), plus more if needed
1 egg yolk
2/3 cup (160 ml) butter, room temperature, cubed
1/3 cup (80 ml) icing sugar
1 cup (240 ml) ricotta
½ cup (120 ml) melted dark chocolate chips
2/3 cup (160 ml) butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups (360 ml) sugar
1 cup (240 ml) water
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
Let’s get baking!
To make the dough, add milk, sugar, and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix together. Let sit 5 minutes.
Start stand mixer with dough attachment and mix in 1 cup flour on low. Add eggs and egg yolk and continue mixing. Slowly add remaining flour while mixing. Turn mixer to medium and add butter cubes one at a time. Continue mixing for 10-15 minutes, or until dough is soft, sticky, and shiny.
Grease a bowl with butter. Take dough out of stand mixer and add to greased bowl. Cover bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Let dough rest 2 hours.
To make the filling, mix together icing sugar and ricotta. Slowly add melted chocolate.
Mix in butter. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Roll out into a large rectangle. Spread filling onto rectangle, leaving a border. Starting at one of the long edges, roll rectangle up tightly to form a log. When you get near the end, apply a bit of water along the remaining border of the dough to help seal it closed when you finish rolling it up. Trim the ends. Using a sharp knife, cut the log down the middle lengthwise. With cut ends facing up, place strips of dough side by side, then fold one strip over the other, then fold that strip over the first strip, and continue until you create a braid of sorts. Carefully place the dough into a large greased loaf pan. Bake babka for 40-50 minutes.
To make the syrup, melt sugar in water on the stove. Let boil 5-10 minutes until mixture starts to thicken. Take off the heat and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside.
As soon as you remove the babka from the oven, pour simple syrup evenly over the top of the loaf. Let cool slightly before removing from pan.