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Chocolate Twist (Babka-like)

I call this chocolate twist recipe “babka-like” because it uses many of the same techniques, but it has less sugar and butter than a traditional brioche-based babka. This version personally leaves me feeling more fueled and less sluggish. Feel free to experiment with the filling and add a glaze if that’s your sort of thing! If you like the bread part, it’s similar to the dough I use for Orange Cardamom Buns!

Total time (including rising): 3 hours. Makes 1 very large twist, or two loaves.

Materials: Mixing bowl; baking pan; measuring vessels; mixing spoon; bench scraper is helpful too. Missing materials or ingredients? Look here.

Ingredients (Substitutions):

  • 1 packet Red Star Organic Instant Yeast or Red Star Organic Dry Active Yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 ⅛ cup milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or 4 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ~5 cups all purpose flour
  • For filling: 2 tbsp butter, 1 cup chocolate chips, ¾ cup ground pecans


  1. Activate 1 packet yeast in ½ cup warm water for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add 1 ⅛ cup warmed milk and 2 tbsp melted butter, 2 tbsp maple syrup (or 4 tbsp sugar), orange zest, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp cardamom. Make sure the milk and butter aren’t too hot or they will kill the yeast. Wrist temperature is what I use! Stir to combine.
  3. Whisk 2 eggs and add all but a drop (only if you’d like to paint the dough for shine at the end — otherwise, add all the egg), and mix well.
  4. Stirring, slowly add the ~5 cups of all purpose flour. Knead everything so it comes together and is a nice, soft dough (see video below for texture).
  5. Let rise for 2 hours.
  6. To form the twist (also see demonstration in video below): Roll the dough into a large rectangle, paint it with the filling, then cut into long strips length-wise and twist them together.
  7. Let rise 30 more minutes while preheating oven to 350˚F. Optional to paint the exposed dough with the leftover egg.
  8. Bake at 350˚F for ~35 mins. While baking, can prepare a glaze. When the twist comes out, pour this over it.

In this Youtube video, I quickly demonstrate how to mix the dough, what the texture should be, and how to form it into the twist:

Feel free to slow it down a bit at the “hard part”…

Greetings from our kitchen!

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