Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Spelt Babka


A babka is a sweet bread similar to a brioche. It has been on my recipe to-do list for quite some time as I think it just looks and sounds amazing. I thralled the internet for inspiration and tried one or two recipes with not so good results then I stumbled upon Melanie Lionello’s recipe for a spelt version and thought it was worth a try…..I think the picture of the final result says enough! I mixed the filling up a bit with some melted dark chocolate and crushed toasted hazelnuts but keep it simple just with chocolate or whatever takes your fancy.

Makes 1 loaf.

  • 90ml lukewarm milk
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 300g spelt flour
  • 3/4 tsp dried fast-action yeast
  • generous pinch of sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 40g coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar


  • 100g dark chocolate, melted
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp hazelnuts, toasted & crushed
  1. Place all the ingredients for the babka dough into a large mixing bowl and using a dough hook and a kitchen mixer combine for 10-15 minutes until a smooth dough is formed, transfer to a clean surface. If you don’t have a mixer combine by hand in the bowl and then transfer the dough to a clean surface and knead for at least 10-15 minutes by hand until a smooth supple dough is formed.
  2. Once the dough is fully kneaded, leave to sit on your work surface whilst you prepare the filling.  
  3. Once the chocolate is melted, stir through the solid coconut oil to form a shiny, supple liquid.
  4. Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough into a large rectangle shape. Pour over the chocolate mix and evenly spread over the dough. Sprinkle with 3/4 of the crushed hazelnuts.
  5. Now for the fun and messy part, I kind of got too engrossed in the process to take pictures so if you get a bit lost there are tons of how-to videos on Youtube. Evenly roll the dough length ways into a swiss-roll shape. Using a sharp knife, cut it length-ways in half leaving a 5cm gap at the end un-cut. Gently separate the two lengths and braid over each other as if plaiting hair until the dough is fully braided.
  6. Place the dough into a lined loaf tin, sprinkle over the remaining crushed hazelnuts, cover with cling-film and allow to prove in a warm place for about 2 hours. 
  7. When ready to bake, pre-heat an oven to 180°C and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

4 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Spelt Babka

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