How can we make chocolate babka even better? By adding graham crackers and gooey toasted marshmallows! This S’mores Babka is the true best babka out there!
You guys knew this was coming… right? Every year I share a new dessert (or two!) for National S’mores Day.
And for the past few years, I’ve tied them into my “year of the…” theme.
2017 = Year of the Bundt Cake = S’mores Bundt Cake
2018 = Year of Pie = S’mores Pie
(I somehow missed 2017, which was Year of Quick Breads, but I made up for that this year with the S’mores Quick Bread I shared earlier this week.)
So, without further ado… it’s the only obvious recipe for this week…. a S’MORES BABKA!
This s’mores babka uses a similar base to my other babka recipes.
A chocolate babka bread filled with a homemade chocolatey spread, crushed graham crackers, and marshmallow fluff. Topped with a crunchy graham cracker streusel. And then covered with marshmallows and torched until slightly charred and super gooey.
Oh yes. It’s like the even better, even more delicious, cousin to the never-lesser chocolate babka. Even better than a chocolate babka.
How to Make S’mores Babka
Babka is, of course, a yeast dough. This means our dough will take some time to rise. (Looking for something faster to celebrate National S’mores Day? Try this S’mores Quick Bread!)
Fortunately, it’s easy to break this dough up into two steps. I’ve been making most of my babka breads this way recently, and this s’mores babka was no exception.
On the first day, we’ll make the dough. This can be done either with a stand mixer or kneading by hand. The dough needs an hour to rise in a warm, dark place — I use the ‘proof’ setting on my oven for this, but you can also do it at room temperature on a counter as long as your kitchen isn’t too chilly. (If it is, just let the dough rise for an hour and a half to two hours; the rise will just take a little longer!)
After this, we’ll move the dough to the refrigerator. The yeast continues to act in the cold, but is slowed down significantly. Because of growth retardation, we can keep our bread in the fridge anywhere from 1 hour up to 36. The flavor actually gets a little deeper the longer it sits, which I love.
(Going over 36 hours, however, and the bread starts to ferment and taste a little alcohol-y — in this case, you’ve waited too long!)
Filling for S’mores Babka
To fill this babka, we’re using the same chocolate base as my best chocolate babka (minus the cinnamon). Spread this filling all over the rolled out dough. We’ll top this with marshmallow fluff, miniature chocolate chips, and crushed graham crackers.
I like using marshmallow fluff for this rather than real marshmallows because it’s much easier to roll. The real marshmallows form little lumps that melt in the oven, leaving large holes in the bread.
The marshmallow fluff, on the other hand, is easy to distribute equally and melts into the bread, imparting a sweet, marshmallow-y flavor to the dough itself as it bakes.
How to Make Graham Cracker Streusel
Quite possibly my favorite part of this s’mores babka? The crunchy graham cracker streusel!
Graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cold butter, and miniature chocolate chips. It’s like a normal streusel, but even more delicious.
And because this isn’t enough, we’re going to top the graham cracker streusel with toasted marshmallows, because it’s just not a s’more if melty marshmallows aren’t involved!
I like to use a torch for this, but you can also use the broiler of your oven — just keep a close eye on the babka to make sure the marshmallows don’t burn too much!
How to Store S’mores Babka
This recipe makes two loaves, because when it comes to babka, I always feel like if you’re going to invest the time and energy, make two! Share one with a friend or save the other for a rainy day.
Slices of babka can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days (if they last that long!).
The babka can also be made ahead of time and frozen. If possible, I recommend freezing the whole loaf without the marshmallow topping and then adding and toasting the marshmallows after thawing.
Tips and Tricks for the Best S’mores Babka
- New to babka? Check out my “The Best Chocolate Babka” post for step-by-step photos of how to roll, twist, and shape your babka dough.
- Refrigerate the dough for the second hour of the first rise. When the dough is cold, it rolls out easily with no need for extra flour.
- Don’t have time to make your babka in one day? The one hour refrigeration can be extended up to 36 hours. When you’re ready to finish making the babka, leave the dough at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before rolling.
- Use a thermometer to determine if the babka is done. When an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the loaf hits 190 °F, the babka is done.
- For perfectly cut slices, wait until the marshmallows have fully cooled before cutting. For best flavor, cut while the marshmallows are still warm – but it will be a little messy! If the marshmallows are too sticky to cut, pop the bread into the freezer for 10 minutes before slicing.
- Store leftover slices in an airtight container at room temperature, but preferably on the cooler side. At warm temperatures, the marshmallows will be extra sticky and the chocolate squares on top will start to melt. Again, delicious – but messy.
More S’mores Dessert Recipes
2019 Babka of the Month Series
FOR THE DOUGH:
- 1 cup whole milk, heated to 110 degrees F
- 3 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into 12 pieces
FOR THE FILLING:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 (7.5-ounce) jar marshmallow fluff
- 6 full graham cracker sheets, crushed
- 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
FOR THE GRAHAM CRACKER STREUSEL:
- 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 6 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
- 1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Prepare the dough. Combine together the milk, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or in a large glass mixing bowl). Whisk together and set aside for 5 minutes, or until frothy.
- On low speed, beat in the remaining sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Add in the flour and salt and mix just until the dough comes together, another 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-low and add the butter one piece at a time, beating after each addition until all pieces have been added. Continue mixing with the dough hook until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, whisk together ingredients by hand until combined; knead by hand for 10 minutes until dough is soft and smooth.)
- Transfer the dough to a large lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Set aside to rise in a warm, dark place for 1 hour. After 1 hour, transfer the bowl to the refrigerator, still covered, and set aside for 1 hour (or up to 36 hours), until dough has doubled in size and is firm to the touch.
- Prepare the filling. While the babka is rising in the refrigerator, make the chocolate filling. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla extract, and cocoa powder. Pour in the melted butter and stir to combine. This mixture will look a little granulated from the sugar. Set side.
- Shape the babka. Grease two 9x5-inch loaf pans. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and gently punch it down. Cut the dough in half; remove half from the bowl and recover the other half and set aside.
- Roll the dough into a roughly 9-inch by 18-inch rectangle. Spread half the filling over the dough, leaving a slight border along the edges. Spread half the marshmallow fluff over the chocolate filling, followed by sprinkling on half the graham crackers and half the chocolate chips over the top of the dough. Working from the long side of the dough, roll the dough into a long cylinder. Fold the dough in half and twist several times and place dough in the prepared loaf pan. Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover both loaf pans with plastic wrap or a dish towel and set aside to rise again at room temperature, for another hour and a half.
- Make the graham cracker streusel topping. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry cutter or two knives until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture has a sandy texture. Stir in the chocolate chips. After the dough finishes rising, beat together the egg and water and brush over the loaves. Then sprinkle the streusel topping over both loaves.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Bake the babka. Bake the loaves at 350 °F for 40 to 50 minutes, until the top of the loaf is golden brown and the inside registers 190 °F using an instant read thermometer. As soon as the babkas are done baking and come out of the oven, use a long skewer or knife to poke holes all over the bread, pushing all the way down to the bottom. Allow the breads to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.
Babka can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, wrap fully cooled loaf in aluminum foil and place inside a plastic freezer bag.
A Bunsen Burner Bakery Original Protocol
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 524 Total Fat: 15.6g Carbohydrates: 91.9g Protein: 5.3g