Sourdough Babka Recipe

 Making this sourdough babka was both a triumph and a pain in the butt.

I made the enriched sourdough for the babka a total of three times: once by itself, once with the chocolate as a full sourdough babka, and a second time with the chocolate again. The dough kneaded up beautifully the first two times, but the third time for some reason was really sticky and needed and extra couple of spoonfuls of flour. I'm not sure why, but thankfully the end result turned out just as good as the first two times.

If you have a stand mixer and dough hooks... use them. I unfortunately don't, so it took 20 minutes of pure elbow grease to knead the dough to become elastic enough. But the fluffy, soft sourdough babka I ended up with was worth it.

You're going to need your sourdough to be fed and actively bubbling for this one.

Check out my YouTube video to see me making this:

Ready? Let's go.

Ingredients for Filling:

75g unsalted butter
75g dark chocolate
150g caster sugar
25g cocoa powder

Ingredients for Dough:

350g bread flour
150g sourdough starter
70g caster sugar
5g salt
2 small eggs, beaten
100ml milk
1 tsp vanilla
85g unsalted butter, softened
2 heaped tbsp extra bread flour (optional)

Ingredients for Syrup Glaze:

40ml water
40g caster sugar


1.  First, make the filling by stirring the butter, chocolate, sugar and cocoa powder together in a small saucepan over a low heat until melted and well combined. Set aside, and butter and line a 2lb loaf pan with baking paper.

2. To make the dough, stir all the ingredients except for the two extra tbsp flour together in a large bowl until it comes together, tip out onto a clean work surface and knead until elastic, smooth and no longer sticky (this will take 15–20 minutes). If the dough is too sticky, add the extra flour and keep kneading.

3. Flour the work surface and a rolling pin well, and roll the dough out into a large rectangle. Spread over the filling evenly and roll up into a log.

4. 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.

5. Cover with clingfilm and leave to proof overnight.

6. The next morning, preheat the oven to 180°C. Uncover and bake the babka, covering loosely with tin foil halfway through to stop the top from burning. Remove from the oven and make the syrup.

7. To make the syrup, simply boil the water and sugar together for three minutes, then immediately brush all over it evenly over the top of the still-warm babka inside the tin.

8. Leave to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Enjoy, and have fun.


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