Spelt Chocolate Orange Twist Bread

Spelt Chocolate Orange Twist Bread

Spelt Chocolate Orange Twist (Babka) bread is a delicious breakfast treat. I love using white spelt flour for bread making but feel free to use the flour of your choice. Ensure the flour has a high protein content (over 12g is ideal). My chocolate orange twist (Babka) bread recipe; includes two of my favourite flavours, chocolate and orange. This recipe is a delicious enriched dough with butter, egg and infused with orange. Try baking this spelt twist bread for a weekend breakfast treat that will impress your friends and family. It has been a while since I made a new version of a Babka and I thought I would share a creative twist. Ha!

Takes = 2-3 hours including resting time
Bakes = 25-30 minutes
Makes = 1 small loaf 8 to 10 slices


  • Caster Sugar – 2 tbsp* (add more if you have a sweet tooth)
  • Instant Dried Yeast – 2 tsp or 7g packet
  • Luke Warm water – 40ml to 60ml (2 tbsp + 2 tsp)
  • White Spelt Flour (or Wholegrain or  50/50) – 300g (about 2 cups + 3 tbsp)
  • Unsalted cubed butter – 75g (1/4 cup + 1/2 tbsp)
  • Orange juice from 1 orange – 60ml (7 tbsp)
  • Orange zest – 2 tsp
  • Large egg
  • pinch of salt

Chocolate Filling

  • Icing sugar – 20g
  • Cocoa powder – 2 tbsp
  • Dark chocolate 70% – 50g melted
  • Unsalted butter – 45g
  • Dark brown sugar – 1 tbsp

Orange Icing (optional)

  • Icing sugar – 50g
  • Fresh Orange juice – 1-2 tbsp


Step 1
Place yeast, sugar and water in your large mixing bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Add flour, juice and zest then mix for 1 minute on a low speed, then increase the speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes until the dough comes together. Add the salt and start adding the butter. You will need to stop the mixer to scrap down the bowl. Add a little more flour to the sides of the bowl so the dough comes away.

Step 2
Once the dough has formed, remove from the mixer and place in a large oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for about 1 to 2 hours. At this stage you can leave in the fridge overnight. Remove and allow the dough to become room temperature and resume with Step 5.

Step 3
Grease a 1 kg loaf tin (23cm x 10cm) with some sunflower oil or similar and line the bottom with a piece of baking paper. Moistened scrunched paper works well.

Step 4
Melt chocolate gently in a heat proof bowl over a pot of water, or gently in the microwave 2 x 30 second bursts. Then add the melted chocolate with sifted icing sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder and butter. You will form a paste (allow to cool to room temperature before using, to quicken up this process pour into a small bowl or jug and place in the freezer for 10 minutes).

Step 5
Roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface approx 38cm x 28cm rectangle. Trim the sides to get rid of any unevenness and place the dough so that the short end is close to you. Spread the chocolate mixture over the rectangle, leave a 2cm border all around the edge.

Step 6
Brush a little water over the long end that is the furtherest away from you. Use both hands to roll up the rectangle, starting from the long side that is closest to you, and ending up at the other long side at the other end. Press the wet seal of the tube and then use both hands to make the dough more even, sitting on its seam.
Trim both ends of the dough with a knife. Now cut the roll lengthways starting at the top and dividing the dough into two even long halves. With the cut sides facing up, gently twist the dough, it will be messy but don't worry even if it twists too much once cooked it will taste fine. The end result is a two sided plait. Now carefully lift the twisted dough into the lined tin. Cover with a damp tea towel, and let rest in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The dough will rise slightly, around 20%.

Step 7
Pre-heat oven 170˚C fan. Then bake on the middle shelf in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the skewer comes out clean from the bread. Check half way through and if the top is looking brown move the bread to the lower shelf.
*Tip, add a small pan of water to the base of the oven, this will ensure the bread has a thin crust and is moist.

Step 8
Prepare the icing glaze: whisk icing sugar and orange juice in a small bowl.

Step 9
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then drizzle the icing glaze.