A slice of this Chocolate Hazelnut Tahini Babka is bound to make all of your wildest babka dreams come true. Babka can look a bit complicated to create due to the characteristic swirl of layered dough and filling. Yet, with a few techniques and tips it's truly not as complicated as you would think!
⭐ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- A Unique Flavor Fusion: The combination of chocolate and tahini brings a delightful and unconventional taste profile.
- Rich in Tradition: Babka, rooted in Eastern European traditions, transports you to old-world charm with every bite.
- Perfect Weekend Indulgence: Its fluffy and rich texture makes it a heartwarming treat for a leisurely weekend brunch or tea.
- Versatile and Adaptable: The recipe allows for variations, making it perfect for those who love experimenting.
❓ What is Tahini?
Tahini is a thick paste made from the grinding of sesame seeds. Tahini has a high percentage of oil within a purchased jar. Make sure to take some time to stir the separated tahini until combined before using as you would a jar of natural peanut butter.
Traditionally, Tahini has been used throughout the Middle East for quite some time. You'll find recipes that require tahini for making hummus, sauces and dressings. It's also commonly baked into various desserts or bread to add a nutty rich flavor!
📖 Step by Step Instructions
Once your babka dough has been mixed and has sat in the fridge overnight, it's time to form the dough. Here, we start dividing, rolling and twisting the dough to form that characteristic swirl that babka is known for.
First off, flour your counter and roll out the dough until it is a rectangle of about 9" by 15". Spread your tahini and chocolate hazelnut butter evenly over the dough. Roll up the rectangle so that the rolled log is 15 inches long and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. This will help to cleanly cut through the babka and allow for easy twisting.
Once chilled, cut the log in half with a serrated knife so that you have two 15" pieces and the filling is exposed.
Fold the two separate logs on top of each other keeping the sides up as you do so, creating a long twist of tahini and hazelnut butter-filled dough! Place the twist in a greased loaf pan. Cover and place in a warm area for 1.5 hours until the dough has slightly risen and feels puffy.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and bake your babka for about 35-45 minutes until the top is a golden brown shade. Cool, slice, and enjoy!
🍫 Chocolate Hazelnut Tahini Babka Filling
Homemade chocolate hazelnut butter is a staple ingredient in my kitchen - it's healthy, protein-packed, and delicious.
In less than half an hour start to finish you can make a natural version with ingredients in your own home, then spread it onto the babka dough. All you need is raw hazelnuts, dark chocolate, sea salt, and a touch of vanilla extract.
⏲️ Substitutions & Variations
- Bread Base: While traditional babka uses a brioche dough, you can also experiment with other bread dough recipes for a different texture.
- For a Nutty Twist: Swap some of the tahini for chocolate-hazelnut spread for a delightful nutty flavor.
- Alternative Sweeteners: Replace caster sugar with brown sugar or honey for a deeper, caramel-like sweetness.
- Going Gluten-Free: Substitute the regular flour with gluten-free flour to make a coeliac-friendly version.
If you're looking for another babka recipe, head over to my Pistachio Pesto Babka recipe. You could even double the babka dough recipe and make one Chocolate Hazelnut Tahini Babka and one Pistachio Pesto version!
💭 Recipe FAQs
Room temperature ingredients, especially when dealing with yeast bread recipes, ensure even distribution and better fermentation of the dough, leading to a fluffier babka.
Absolutely! After the initial kneading, cover the dough with cling film and refrigerate. The next morning, continue with the filling and baking steps.
The sugar syrup, often brushed on just after the babka bakes, gives it a glossy finish, keeps it moist, and enhances the sweet flavors.
Fresh yeast, often used in traditional recipes, can be more potent but has a shorter shelf life. Dry yeast is more accessible and has a longer shelf life, but always check the expiration date. They can be interchangeable, but proportions may vary.
More Bread Recipes to Try
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Chocolate Tahini Babka
- ¼ cup (60 g) Whole Milk , warm, not hot (ideally 100°F)
- ½ package (3.5 g) Active Dry Yeast
- 2.5 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
- 2 cups + 2 Tbsp (285 g) All-Purpose Flour
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
- 5 tablespoon (70 g) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- oil for greasing bowls and pans
- ¾ Cups (200 g) Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
- ¼ Cup (60 g) Tahini
- 3 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds
- In a small bowl combine the yeast, warm milk, and sugar together until the yeast has been activated and appears foamy (approximately 5 minutes)¼ cup Whole Milk, ½ package Active Dry Yeast, 2.5 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
- Add the flour and salt into the bowl and mix using a paddle attachment to combine before adding the vanilla extract and eggs.2 cups + 2 tablespoon All-Purpose Flour, ¾ teaspoon Salt, ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract, 2 Eggs
- Mix thoroughly for a total of 3 minutes. If the dough is still sticking to the side of the bowl and quite wet, you may need to add an extra tablespoon of flour.
- Once the dough is not sticking to the side of the bowl anymore, it's time to add the softened butter in two separate parts. Add the first half of your butter and mix for five minutes. Scrape down the side of the bowl, then add the last half of the butter and mix for an additional 6 minutes. As before, if the dough is still sticking to the side of the bowl is sticking, you may need to add an extra tablespoon of flour.5 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- Place the dough into a large clean bowl that is lightly coated in oil. Cover in plastic wrap and let is slowly rise for 1-2 hours. Then, degas the dough by lightly pressing with your hands and place in fridge overnight so that the flavor has plenty of time to develop.oil for greasing bowls and pans
- Flour your counter and roll out the dough until it is about 9" by 15" and spread your tahini and chocolate hazelnut butter evenly over the dough and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Roll up the rectangle so that the rolled log is 15 inches long and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. This will help to cleanly cut through the babka and allow for easy twisting.¾ Cups Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, ¼ Cup Tahini, 3 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds
- Once chilled, cut log in half with a serrated knife so that you have two 15" pieces and the filling is exposed.
- Fold the two separate logs on top of each other keeping the sides up as you do so, creating a long twist of tahini and hazelnut butter filled dough!
- Place the twist in a greased loaf pan. Cover and place in a warm area for 1.5 hours until the dough has slightly rise and feels puffy.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake your babka for about 35-45 minutes until the top is a golden brown shade. If you happen to have a thermometer handy, check that the interior of the babka is 185-200 degrees in the thickest center part of the bread and remove from the oven.
- Transfer to a cooling rack before serving and enjoy!