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gluten free chocolate babka jewish
Photo credit Orly Gottesman

Gluten-Free Chocolate Babka Recipe

Sweet, gooey and indulgent. 

  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 2 babkas 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For the dough starter:

  • ¾ cup (110 g) Manhattan Blend or GF Bread Flour
  • 3 Tbsp (20 g) dry active yeast
  • ½ cup (110 ml) milk (dairy-free is fine), warmed to 105-115°F

For the dough:

  • ½ cup (85 g) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ⅓ cup (220 g) Manhattan Blend + extra, for rolling
  • 7 Tbsps (100 g) softened butter or vegan butter

For the filling and topping:

  • ¾ cup (90 g) cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) sugar
  • 7 Tbsps (100 g) melted butter or oil
  • 1 egg yolk, for the egg wash
  • chocolate chips
  • cake crumbs, powdered sugar and melted chocolate (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease two rectangular loaf pans or round pans.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dough starter ingredients and let sit for 10 minutes. 
  3. Mix Manhattan Blend, salt and baking powder for your dough in a separate bowl. 
  4. Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla to the bowl with the starter, and mix together on low speed for 2 minutes. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, and mix on medium speed until fully incorporated. Lastly, slowly add the softened butter and mix all ingredients together until it forms a smooth shiny dough. Refrigerate dough until it is firm and easy to roll out.   
  5. While the dough is in the fridge, prepare the filling. Mix together a 4:1 ratio of sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl and set aside. If you want the filling to be a less sweet chocolate, mix a 3:1 ratio.
  6. Using Manhattan Blend or gluten-free flour for rolling, turn the chilled dough out onto a work surface dusted with flour. Split the dough into two equal-sized pieces. Using a rolling pin, roll the first half of the dough out into a rectangle, about 2cm thickness. 
  7. Brush the surface of the dough with melted butter or oil, leaving a ½-inch border along the top edge. Then, generously cover the surface of the dough with the cocoa/sugar mixture, leaving a 3/4 inch border along the top edge. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, carefully roll the dough into a tight cylinder, and then twist the cylinder into a loose knot. Transfer dough into a loaf to rise. (You can also roll the cylinder into a snail shape, like a cinnamon bun, and place it in a round pan to rise.) Repeat with the second half of the dough.
  8. Let the babka sit in a warm area (80–100°F or 40-45°C ) for 25-30 minutes or until it almost doubles in size.  
  9. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with chocolate chips. If you have leftover gluten free cookies or cake, grind them into crumbs and top the babka with the crumbs. Or make your own crumb topping.   
  10. Bake at 350°F (180°C) until the outside of the babka is golden brown, about 35-45 minutes..  The inside should be very moist.  
  11. Finish with powdered sugar and melted chocolate drizzle.

Notes

  1. This recipe yields two chocolate babkas. You can bake them in loaf pans or roll them up into a cylinder and bake in round pans for something a little different. 
  2. I’d recommend using Blends by Orly Manhattan Blend Pastry Flour (made with millet and sorghum) or Blends by Orly Tuscany Blend Bread Flour for this recipe.
  3. You can either freeze the whole babka or preslice it and freeze it in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag. After the babka is defrosted, I recommend wrapping in foil and heating in the oven, or you can heat individual slices in the microwave. 
  • Author: Orly Gottesman
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Ashkenazi