Matcha Babka – Recipe

I kept making plans to make this right after making the milk bread. But we had some pretty hot weekends, and it sucks to use the oven when it's so hot. So as soon as the weather cooled off a little, I got straight to it making this chocolatey beauty.

I sacrificed having a neatly-striped, braided top for the greed of having more chocolate filling, and for convenience. You get a more defined pattern when you chill the rolled-up dough so the filling solidifies before cutting, but I just didn't have any space in my fridge for this step at the time. Whoops. But skipping it didn't affect the overall bake at all – it was just a little more rustic on top.

Need some visuals? Check out my at-a-glance tutorial on YouTube:

Ready? Let's go.

Ingredients for Dough:

2 tsp of dry active yeast or 10g fresh yeast
50ml warm water (for the yeast)
1 tsp caster sugar
340g bread flour
15g matcha
1/2 tsp salt
50g extra caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
100g unsalted butter, softened

Ingredients for Filling:

75g unsalted butter
75g dark chocolate, chopped
150g caster sugar
25g cocoa powder
70g dark chocolate chips chunks

Ingredients for Syrup Glaze:

40ml water
40g caster sugar


1. Prepare a 2lb (9"x5") loaf tin by lightly oiling the insides and lining with baking parchment. Leave a bit of parchment overhang so you can lift the loaf out more easily when it's done.

2. Sprinkle or mash the yeast into the first 50ml of water in a small bowl, and stir in the sugar. Wait a minute or two until it begins to bubble.

3. Stir the yeast mixture with all the rest of the dough ingredients, switching from a wooden spoon to your hands when it begins to form a dough.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead for about ten minutes until the dough is smooth (or, if you're lucky enough to own a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment to do it for you).

5. Form the dough into a ball, pop it in a lightly-oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm or a damp tea towel until doubled in size (30 mins to two hours, depending on how warm your room is).

6. To make the filling, melt the chopped chocolate (not the chocolate chips) and butter together in a pan over a low heat, stirring to combine. Take off the heat, and stir in the caster sugar and cocoa powder until you have a gritty paste.

7. Punch the dough down, and roll it out into a large rough rectangle. Spread the filling over it evenly, sprinkle over the chocolate chips, and roll the dough up into a long sausage (starting from the long side of the rectangle). Pinch the edges shut.

8. If you have room in your fridge, it's best to chill your log at this point to make it easier to cut – so if you can, chill it for and hour before step 7. If, like me, you don't have room, skip this chilling step and go straight to step 7.

9. Slice the log lengthways so you have two long ropes. Now twist the ropes together, making sure the cut, chocolatey sides face upwards. Pinch the ends together to seal, and place the whole thing in the loaf pan.

10. Cover with clingfilm or a damp tea towel, and leave to proof again until doubled in size – again this could be anything from 30 minutes to a couple of hours).

11. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Once it reaches full heat, bake the proofed loaf for 50 minutes to an hour, covering the top loosely with kitchen foil about 30 minutes in to stop the top from burning.

12. When there are just a few minutes left of baking time, make the syrup by boiling the water and sugar together for three minutes. Take the loaf out of the oven and immediately brush the syrup over the top of the loaf – don't be shy, use all of the syrup.

13. Leave to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Enjoy, and have fun.


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