How to make Babka?

Damian Wawrzyniak – Award Winning Chef, Master Craftsman at Guild for Chefs UK has also experience in two Michelin Star, Worlds Best Restaurant, Noma in Copenhagen / Denmark. Check out his recipe for Babka.

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On 15th of March 2016, Chef Damian won hearts of over 3.6 mln viewers at Mary Berry Easter Feast baking program published by BBC.  …Now story continues!


Damian’s Wawrzyniak Babka Recipe – Chef Director of Fine Art of Dining


STAGE 1 – Lets start with STARTER


250g of 100% RYE Flour (use 150g for longer fermantation process)

250ml Hot Boiling Water

500ml of Luke Warm Water

100g of 100% Rye Bread  Crust


1. Mix Flour with hot boiling water, stir gently.

2. Add Luke Warm Water and keep mixing until smooth paste. 

TIP : You are looking for mayonnaise texture 

3. Crumb bread by your fingers and gradually add to the mix, stir gently.

4. Transfer to a glass jar or plastic container, cover with muslin cloth and leave in room temperature for 72hours. Stir again and leave for further 12hours.


STAGE 2 – Recipe for 24cm ‘skirt’ tray or ‘chimney’ tray


500g White Strong Bread Flour

500g Icing Sugar

500g of Unsalted 100% Butter

8 egg yolks

2 egg white

Zest from 2 oranges

Zest from 2 lemons

Juice from 2 lemons

10g of Baking powder

360g of Starter ‘zakwas’ vary of length of fermentation 

Vanilla from one vanilla pod

2x TBSP. of Cocoa

1 x TBSP. of Fine Bread Crumb,

20g of soft butter, for the baking tray


1.Turn the butter, once creamy texture (avoid fat to go out) add lemon juice, zests & vanilla (this takes at least 30 mins)

2.Whip egg yolks with sugar

3.Fold gently together 1+2

4.Add flour slowly and fold all ingredients together. To avoid lumps keep adding gradually, doze by doze 

5.Add starter, fold in

6.Whip egg white and fold gently in to the mix

5.Heat oven to 160C, fan

6.Butter the baking tray, sprinkle with breadcrumb

7.Take one tbsp.. of ready mix and mix with cocoa

8.Transfer complete mix in to baking tray, 

9.Spoon cocoa mix in to the previous dough, swirl

10.Bake for 45 – 55 mins. Time depends of oven. Please keep checking if dough is baked using wooden stick.

11.Once Babka is out of the oven, leave it in the tray for at least two hours before icing

Once your toppings are ready, please follow those steps:

12.Cover half of your Babka with Tin foil and pour chocolate topping on half uncovered, wait 10mins.

13.Take tin foil off and pour lemon icing over second half of the babka



Lemon & Orange Icing

150g icing sugar

1-2tsp of hot Water

Juice From one lemon 

30g of Candied Lemons & Orange skins

1tsp of oil of olive, it will avoid cracks



1. Place Icing Sugar in to small saucepan with all ingredients

2. Bring to boil, keep staring until water starts evaporating, take off the heat, stair for 30seconds, pour over half of the babka


Chocolate Icing

100g of Dark Chocolate

30g of Crushed Hazelnuts

30g of Crushed Walnuts



1. Melt Chocolate  on low heat

2. Prevent steam / water to drop in to chocolate, add drop of olive oil

3. Pour over the second half f babka, cover with crushed nuts


Recipe: Damian Wawrzyniak – Chef Director of Fine Art of Dining

Photos: © BBC. Damian Wawrzyniak and Mary Berry and © Richard Harris