Chocolate Swirl Challah Bread

Loading the player...

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Rise #1: 90 minutes
Assembly: 30 minutes
Rise #2: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 30-40 minutes

Yield: 2 loaves

Growing up, we used to make challah bread often for Easter dinner. It was a nice little tradition, but I only really knew challah as a savory dinner dish.  And then when I shared my challah on Instagram this year a woman liked my post. After diving into her Insta I realized challah is NOT just savory.  I was hooked! Mandylicious generously shares her recipe and her Insta gave me so many different ideas.  Her challah recipe is below; using my homemade Chocolate Spread

Follow her on Instagram @Mandyliciouschallah 


  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 4¼ cup bread flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon instant dry yeast

Egg Wash:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon water


  1. Add dry and wet ingredients to a stand up mixer with a dough hook until dough forms.  Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead for 5 minutes. Allow to rise in a large bowl in a dark place, covered with plastic wrap or a towel for 1 ½ hours.
  2. After the dough has risen, divide into 6 equal portions.
  3. On a floured surface, roll three portions into long ropes, and using a rolling pin, roll each portion into a rectangle approximately 12 inches long and 8 inches wide.
  4. Add your filling to the rolled and flattened dough. 
  5. From the long edge of the dough, gently bring both sides of the dough over the filling and pinch together. You can also roll the dough. Repeat for all 3 rectangles.
  6. Carefully braid each of the rolls together, then place on a greased loaf pan or parchment lined cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
  7. Cover with a towel and let rise for 30-60 minutes in a draft-free place.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  9. Beat egg yolk and mix in water to prepare the egg wash. Brush over each challah.
  10. Bake challahs for approximately 40-50 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Remove from pans and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Nut-Free Chocolate Buttermilk Spread Filling

  • ¼ cup of buttermilk (whole milk will work if buttermilk isn’t available)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dutched Cacao Powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 ounces of unsweetened baker’s chocolate
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick) – if using unsalted, then add a dash of salt!
  1. Using a double boiled to avoid burning or overheating, combine buttermilk, sugar and cacao powder. Bring to a very light simmer and wait until smooth and sugar seems to have dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat source, but keep boiled water under the double boiler. This way you are still getting heat from the water, but it’s not too much heat.
  3. Add vanilla, unsweetened chocolate, and chopped butter.  Whisk until all is melted and everything looks velvety smooth!
  4. Using a funnel (or not if you have a steadier hand than I do!), add the chocolate to a jar or container with a tight lid.  
  5. Refrigerate for about 2-3 hours to allow it to firm up.
  6. Bring to room temperature prior to using so that it is easily spreadable.