Pumpkin & Chocolate Babka

I haven't jumped on the pumpkin spice bandwagon at all the past couple of years. I'm sort of jumping on this year. I mean, I'm not going to overload you with pumpkin recipes. In fact, I'm only sharing this one. But, I think it's super appropriate for today - Happy Halloween by the way - as it's orange and black and sweet and festive. It's a pumpkin and chocolate babka. I associate babka with Jewish delis. It's basically a swirled bread made with a brioche-ish dough. It's delicious.

I'm wearing bear ears to work today because we're not really expected/allowed to dress up in my office but I still wanted to chuck on a little something.
Ingredients [2 regular loaves or 4 mini loaves]:
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 teaspoons dry instant yeast
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups flour
6 tablespoons butter

chocolate ganache
⅔ cup dark chocolate (60% cacao)
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon loose chai tea
3 tablespoons cocoa powder

¼ cup honey
¼ cup water

To make the dough, add the pumpkin, egg, salt, cinnamon, yeast, and sugar to a bowl and whisk to combine.
Add the flour into the wet ingredients, about 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until a dough forms. It will be dense and slightly stiff. Add the butter in, 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time, until smooth.
Oil the dough and cover with cling film and chuck the dough in the fridge to rise slowly for 6 hours.
After the dough is complete, work on the ganache.
Add the chai tea to the milk and heat up over a low heat until scalding and the tea has steeped into the milk.
Add the chocolate, butter, and pumpkin to a bowl and strain in the milk (discarding the tea) and whisk slowly until a smooth ganache forms. Stir in the cocoa powder.

Cover the ganache with cling film and chuck this in the fridge for 2 hours.
Grease up your loaf pans.
Split up the dough and roll it out to 1/4" thick.
Spread the ganache all over the dough.
Roll the dough and then pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Chilling the dough will make the next part much easier.

Cut the dough in half - longways - and then twist and tuck it into your loaf pans.
Cover the dough and let it rise for 1 hour before tossing it into the oven to bake for about 30 minutes.
While the babkas are baking, make the syrup.
Heat up some honey and water until the honey dissolves and then let it cool.
Pour the syrup all over the finished babkas and then leave them alone to soak up the syrup for about 30 minutes.
Enjoy the lightly sweetened, subtly pumpkin-y bread swirled with rich, spiced chocolate.
Here's the recipe page:


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