Is there anything that screams fall more than a pumpkin chocolate baked good? Maybe pumpkin spice, maybe. But walking in the door to the smell of those 2 flavors together is heavenly. This pumpkin babka bread is so soft and tender, and the chocolate swirl throughout is perfectly chocolatey. It has plenty of chocolate, but still lets in the flavor of pumpkin.
Easy and Beautiful
Babka is a yeast bread, so this isn't a 30 minute recipe. However, it is pretty easy to make and turns out beautifully. It makes a great bread for a fun family dessert night or a great fall appetizer idea.
How to Make Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Bread
When I'm making a yeast bread, I like to get all of my ingredients out, besides the warm water before I begin. Once you have all of your ingredients out, get the warm water and put the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in it. Mix it briefly to combine and set to the side. Put milk and butter in a microwave safe container and microwave just until the butter is melted. It should be warm, but not hot.
Mix the eggs, pumpkin, salt, sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin spice into the butter/ milk mixture and beat for 30 seconds. Pour mixture into bread maker, stand mixer or large bowl. Add the flour and the yeast mixture on top and begin mixing. Once mixed, knead for 20 minutes or until bread dough is ready. It will be smooth and elastic-y and spring back gently when pressed on with a finger. Let the dough rise until doubled, about one hour. Don't let it rise too long or it will get sticky and be hard to work with.
As soon as the dough starts rising, make the filling so it has plenty of time to cool. Put the butter and milk in a saucepan over medium heat, just until the butter is melted, no longer. Add the egg yolk, cocoa, sugar and flour and mix. Set aside to cool while the bread rises.
When the dough is done rising, flour a flat work surface. If making 2 loaves in loaf pans, divide into 2 sections. For one large loaf on a sheet pan, don't divide. Roll each piece out into a large rectangle, or one very large rectangle, about 1/8" thick. Spread chocolate mixture across the dough evenly. Roll up from one of the shorter ends. Gently press down a little, then cut in half length wise. Fold the ends over and under to create a twist, and tuck the ends in.
After shaping, allow to rise another 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350* F and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving.
Tips & Tricks
Make sure the eggs and pumpkin are at room temperature. If they are cold, the bread dough will be sticky and difficult to work with.
Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave for 8-10 seconds. Can be frozen, eat within one day of thawing for best taste.