A fun twist on the classic Jewish staple, this vegan nutella babka is extra moist and full of our favorite chocolate hazelnut spread. While the braided chocolate swirls make this bricohe loaf look intimiadting, it is anything but!
While I'm no historian in Jewish cuisine, I can tell you that babka is a classic staple. Its base is a rich brioche bread, and it's usually filled with chocolate, cinnamon, or, in this case, Nutella. According to a quick Google search, babka actually originated from challah - which is news to me! Apparently, babka was made from leftover challah dough and was originally filled with things like nuts and seeds. Chocolate babka didn't come into play until much later!
We always had babka in my house growing up. Before I learned how to bake, my mom and I loved the Trader Joe's chocolate babka. Whenever I'd come home from college, there would always be a chocolate babka waiting for me. And, let me tell you, it did not last very long. But, this babka recipe is ever better! It's so much more moist and it's filled with Nutella, which can't be beat, if you ask me!
This Nutella babka is
So moist + rich
Vegan, dairy-free, and egg-free
Just FIVE ingredients (and one of them is salt!)
Surprisingly easy to make
Making the babka dough:
Gather all of your ingredients, melt the butter, and warm up the milk to ~110F. Combine the active dry yeast and warmed milk in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit about 5 minutes.
Add the sugar and melted butter and mix. Next, add the flour and salt to the bowl and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Using the dough hook, knead for about 10 minutes on medium speed until dough is very smooth and elastic (middle photo).
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover tightly. Place in a warm spot and let rise for 1 to 2 hours until doubled in size (right picture), depending on the temperature. You can also let the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight at this point.
How to shape vegan babka:
Roll out the dough to roughly a 10"x14" rectangle. Spread about ¾ cup vegan Nutella all over the dough, leaving a 1" border bare. Carefully roll the dough into a log from the longer side of the rectangle. Flip the log over so the seam side is face down.
Using a really sharp knife, cut the babka in half. It will be messy, but consider any Nutella overflow as a chef's treat! Once you have two halves, place one over the other to form a X. Twist the two logs and pinch the ends together. Transfer to a well greased loaf pan for its second rise.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Nutella vegan?
Does any plant-based beverage work?
Yes, you can use any plant-based milk. For this recipe, I used Elmhurst's Almond Milk, but any other type works well too.
How can you tell when the dough is done rising?
It will have doubled in size and visually look much different. Just take a look at the comparison above!
Can I use instant yeast?
Yes! With instant yeast, you don't need to activate it like you would with active dry yeast. As a result, you can skip letting it sit in the warmed milk and just start kneading.
How do I know when to stop kneading?
When the dough is smooth and elastic, it's ready. A good test is to pull a piece of the dough from the ball. If it is stretchy then it's ready. If it snaps off easily, keep kneading.
Can I use expired yeast?
Sadly, no. Make sure your yeast is fresh otherwise your dough may not rise.
Can I freeze the babka?
Yes, babka freezes really well. You can either freeze whole or cut into individual slices.
Can I add nuts to the babka too?
Absolutely! It would taste so good with the added crunch from crushed hazelnuts.
MORE CHOCOLATE RECIPES TO LOVE:
- 1 packet or 2 ¼ teaspoons (7g) active dry yeast
- ¾ cup (190g) almond milk, warmed to about 110F
- 3 tablespoons (40g) cane sugar
- 2 ¾ cups (384g) bread flour
- ½ cup (110g) vegan unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup vegan Nutella
- Combine the active dry yeast and warmed milk in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit about 5 minutes.
- Add the sugar and melted butter and mix.
- Next, add the flour and salt to the bowl and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Using the dough hook, knead for about 10 minutes on medium speed until dough is very smooth and elastic.
- Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover tightly. Place in a warm spot and let rise for 1 to 2 hours, depending on the external temperature. You can also let the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight at this point.
- When the dough is ready, transfer it to a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 10"x14" rectangle.
- Spread the Nutella all over the dough, leaving a 1" border.
- From the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough into a somewhat tight log. (Optional) Cut the ends of the babka off to make prettier.
- Make sure the seam side is down and use a sharp knife to cut the log in half lengthwise.
- Take one half of the log and place it over the other to form an X. Tuck the ends under one another.
- Transfer the babka to a light greased and lined loaf pan and let sit for another 45 minutes to an hour for a second rise. When the loaf has puffed up by about 25%, it is ready to go in the oven.
- While the babka is proofing, pre-heat the oven to 350F.
- (Optional) Lightly brush the loaf with a tablespoon of vegan milk.
- Transfer to the oven to bake for 40 to 45 minutes until browned on top.
The babka is best enjoyed the day of, but should stay fresh for about 3 days on the counter.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 191mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 5g
Adapted from Rainbow Nourishment Vegan Babka