Hello all you beautiful people! How are we? Good I hope and about to get better with the S’mores Babka Rolls! I mean, who doesn’t love marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate all rolled up in a beautiful brioche dough? You’d be crazy not to.
So what exactly is Babka?
I’m sure you are familiar with the term babka, if you’ve done any kind of baking, looking at Instagram, or pinteresting in the past few months. It’s been very popular and it certainly looks harder to make than it actually is. If you can make cinnamon rolls, you can make babka.
Babka has it’s origins in poland as either a sweet braided bread or the traditional enriched Easter bread. It is normally filled with a variety of sweet fillings such as chocolate, cinnamon sugar, apples, sweet cheese, Nutella, or raisins, and is topped with a sugar syrup in order to preserve freshness and make the cake more moist. (source)
Traditionally babka is made from a doubled and twisted length of yeast dough and is typically baked in a high loaf pan. This gives the bread it’s signature swirls of filling inside. The dough is similar to a challah dough and is enriched with sugar, eggs and butter.
Now, while all that sounds intimitdating, These s’mores babka rolls are really quite simple to put together.
It’s all about the dough.
This recipe is inspired by Amie over at foodduchess.com. I saw her post about her s’mores babka loaf and I knew I had to give it a shot. Realizing that having a whole loaf of babka sitting around is maybe not in my best interest, or yours, so I decided to give these a shot as rolls. I think they turned out pretty good. 🙂
So the dough, as you can imagine is a important part of this recipe. I used Amie’s recipe primarily but if you have a favorite cinnamon roll recipe, there’s no reason why it wont work in this case. I just like to try something new, ya know? Amie recommends making this in a stand mixer, and that’s how I usually make enriched dough, so I broke out the dough hook.
The how to:
She starts by blooming the yeast in the slightly warm milk. I always have a hard time with this step, and often skip it. So if you are impatient like me, you can just place all the dry ingredients (including the yeast) in the bowl of your stand mixer. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, and sugar, until well combined. Throw this egg mixture and the slightly warm milk into the stand mixer, and mix it all together on low speed until a very shaggy dough is formed. Turn up the speed to medium and beat the dough. While the dough is beating, add in the butter 1 tbsp at a time, and continue to beat until the dough is smooth, elastic, and no longer dry.
If the butter doesnt seem to want to incorporate, just give it some time and see if it comes together. Otherwise, you can always incorporate the butter with your hands. This will be messy, but eventually the dough will come together in a smooth ball that is tacky but not sticky to the touch and pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
Now the dough needs to rest and let the yeast do it’s thing and the gluten structures to develop. So find a warm spot in your house, cover the dough and let it rise for about an hour until double in size. Then, it’s time to roll, fill, cut and shape the rolls!
Assembling and braiding the S’mores Babka rolls is actually a lot easier than it seems. Start by rolling out the once-proofed dough into a 15”x15” square. Spread the chocolate filling over the dough, leaving about a 1” strip empty along the top. For the filling I used left over chocolate fudge filling from my chocolate fudge poptarts. It was perfect in this recipe and great if you have some left over fudge or ganache hanging around.
Next, sprinkle the mini marshmallows and crumbled graham crackers overtop of the chocolate filling. Brush a little bit of water onto the bare 1” strip, then proceed to roll the dough away from you into a log shape – similar to how you would when making cinnamon buns. Using your hands, try to shape the dough as best as you can to ensure even thickness throughout the log. At this point, if you would like, you can place the log into the freezer for about 30 minutes. This makes cutting and braiding the S’mores Babka Rolls a little bit easier!
When you are ready to cut the dough, use a serrated knife as it will make cutting through all the layers alot easier. Split the dough length wise, and then twist the pieces over each other until it looks like a “braid”. Once complete, using the same knife, cut into 6 even (if using a large muffin tin) or 12 even (if using a regular muffin tin) pieces.
You can then add an extra twist to the dough as you place them in the pan, so you get even more swirls. Top with the graham cracker strussel and cover to let rise a second time, for about 30 minutes to an hour until doubled in size.
Bake & Eat!
Now all you need to do is bake your babka rolls. The timing will depend on the type of pan you are using. If you decide to go for the full loaf, baking time will anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes, depending on your oven. A large muffin tin (6 rolls) will be about the same, and small muffin tin (12 rolls) will be about 25 to 30 minutes. Just keep an eye on them and if they start to brown too quickly, place a piece of foil over the top.
So there you have it, a easy enriched dough stuffed with s’mores goodness. I don’t think there’s anything else I could want right about now. Best of all? If you make them as rolls, they’re easier to share 🙂
S’mores Babka Rolls
These s’mores babka rolls feature a buttery, rich briochedough that has been filled with rich chocolate, crumbled graham crackers, and mini marshamallows. What's not to love?
S’mores Babka Loaf
- 1/2 cup Whole Milk warmed to 100°F
- 2 ¼ tsp Active Dry Yeast 1 package
- 1/4 cup White Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 3 cups All-Purpose Flour plus more if needed, measured correctly †
- 7 tbsp Unsalted Butter cut into small pieces, at slightly warmer than room temperature (should be very soft)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup whole milk or heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons salted butter cubed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 Graham Crackers ground or smashed into a fine crumb
- 3/4 cup Mini Marshmallows
Graham Cracker Streusel
- 1/3 cup Finely Ground Graham Crackers about 2 crackers
- 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 tbsp All Purpose Flour
- Pinch of Salt
- 3 tbsp Cold Unsalted Butter
Making the Babka Dough
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine flour and yeast.
In a medium mixing bowl, add egg, yolk, salt, vanilla, and sugar. Whisk together to combine.
Add egg mixture, to flour and yeast in stand mixer. Stream in warm milk. Mix the dough on low speed until a shaggy dough forms. Turn up the speed to medium and beat the dough until it has come together and looks uniform.
While still beating the dough, begin adding in the butter 1 tbsp at a time, ensuring that each addition is incorporated before adding the next. After all the butter has been added, continue to beat for another 5-8 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, elastic, and tacky.
Transfer dough to a greased large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, then place in a warm area to rise for about an hour, or until the dough is doubled in size.
Making the Chocolate Filling
In a small saucepan, stir together the cocoa powder, milk, and 3/4 cup chocolate chips. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 5-8 minutes, until the chocolate is melted and the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat, stir in the remaining 3/4 cup chocolate chips, the butter, and vanilla until smooth. Transfer to the fridge to cool and thicken, at least 30 minutes.
Shaping and Braiding the Babka
Prepare a large 6 count muffin tin, a 12 count muffin tin or a 9”x5” loaf pan with grease and cupcake liners/parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly flour work surface, and roll the dough out into a 15”x15” square.
Spread chocolate filling over top of the dough, leaving about a 1” strip along the top. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs and mini marshmallows over top. Brush the bare 1” strip with a bit of water. Roll the dough away from you into a log (try to maintain even thickness throughout).
(Optional) For easier and cleaner cutting, place the roll into the freezer for 30 minutes.
Using a serrated knife, slice the log in half lengthwise. Place the sliced halves face up and side by side each other. Form an ‘X’ formation with the two strips. Working from center out, interweave the two strips by folding them over one another alternating back and forth. When at the end, pinch the ends together. Repeat on the other half.
If using a muffin tin to make rolls, cut the dough into equal portions to your pan (6 or 12 rolls) and twist slightly as you place in the lined muffin tins. If using a loaf pan, transfer the braided dough into the prepared 9×5″ loaf pan
Cover lightly with plastic wrap, and place into a warm place to rise for another hour, or until doubled in size.
Making the Graham Cracker Streusel
Add graham crackers to food processor and pulse until they become fine in texture. Add brown sugar and salt, pulse to combine. Then add cold butter pieces, and pulse until crumbly.
Baking the Babka
Preheat oven to 375°F. After the dough has doubled in size, place into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, then sprinkle streusel on, then bake for another 15 minutes (internal temperature of 200°F). When done, allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before cutting into it. *
*Baking times may vary depending on the type of pan you use. If you decide to go for the full loaf, baking time will anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes, depending on your oven. A large muffin tin (6 rolls) will be about the same, and small muffin tin (12 rolls) will be about 25 to 30 minutes. Just keep an eye on them and if they start to brown too quickly, place a piece of foil over the top.