Panera Bread (called St. Louis Bread Company in the St. Louis metropolitan area) is a chain of bakery–cafĂ© quick casual restaurants in the United States and Canada that sells breads, sandwiches, soups, salads, and other bakery items. This site will provide copycat recipes and recipes using products sold at the Panera Bread restaurants. Panera Bread Co. has 1,736 bakery cafes in 45 states and Canada under the Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co. and Paradise Bakery & Cafe brands.




Chocolate Pecan Babka

Returning Favorite Chocolate Pecan Babka - A rich, sweet egg bread that is marbled with semi-sweet flavored chocolate filling and toasted pecans.

Chocolate Pecan Babka
Panera Bread Recipe

Makes: 3-5 Babkas

Assembly time: Dough 20 minutes (not including rest times), fillings 15 minutes each
Final Babka: 15 minutes
Bake time: 25 -35 minutes

5 oz unsalted butter (soft)
5 oz sugar
5 oz whole milk
5 oz water
5 oz whole eggs (That would be Eggland’s Best eggs for me this month!)
1 lb 13 oz bread flour
1 tblsp dry instant yeast
¼ oz salt

Chocolate Ganache Filling
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate (finely chopped)
4 oz heavy cream
1 Tblsp corn syrup

Pecan Topping
1 lb pecans (coarsely chopped)

Egg Wash
1 egg
1Tbls milk
Pinch salt

Dough Instructions:  In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour with the instant dry yeast using a hand whisk. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all other ingredients. Place the flour mixture into bowl on top of other ingredients. Turn the mixer on low speed and blend for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, scrap sides and bottom of bowl and turn mixer on medium speed and continue to mix for 8-10 minutes or until a smooth, homogeneous dough is achieved.

Remove the dough from the mixer and place on a lightly flour table or board. Cover the dough with a cloth to prevent gaining a skin. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, divide the dough into 3-5 equally sized pieces. Round them carefully and place in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap.

Ganache Instructions:  Heat the heavy cream just until it reaches a boil. Shut off the heat and stir in the corn syrup.Place the finely chopped chocolate in a bowl and pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Allow to reach room temperature before using as a spread.

To Assemble:  Remove the chilled dough pieces from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured table, pin out a piece of dough into a rectangle about the size of a note paper.Spread about 4 tablespoons of chocolate ganache across the entire surface of the dough. Take a handful of chopped pecans and cover the surface of the ganache evenly.

Starting from the top downward, begin rolling the babka piece into a cylinder –shape. It should now be a cigar shape with the chocolate filling tucked inside. Taking a sharp knife, cut down the middle of the cylinder pressing all the way to the table.You will now have two halves of the cylinder separated. Begin by twisting the two strands together into a simple braid.

Place babka onto a paper lined sheet pan. Brush the babka carefully with egg wash and sprinkle pecans as a garnish.

Place in a warm area and allow to rise for two hours, brush again (carefully) with eggwash and place into a 350 degree F oven. Bake for about 25-35 minutes or until evenly mahogany brown. Serve warm or room temperature.

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