Halva Babka

I made a chocolate babka Breaking Breads, and it was a hit. This time I wanted to make a halva babka, but with a challah dough, like Molly does in Molly on the Range. I used started with her dough (though I changed sizings, flours, sweetener, etc.), went crazy with the filling, and used Scheft’s babka method to shape and coat the bread. I’m giving half to my halva-loving Romanian fake aunt, who is studying to become a child advocate. All in all it was a fun and chewy project!



  • 2 Heaping T of Yeast
  • 3/4 C Warm Water
  • 1/4 C of Date Molasses
  • 2 C + 2 T Flour
  • 1 C Semolina Flour
  • 1 t Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/3 C Canola/Sunflower Oil
  • Simple Syrup


  • 25 C Tahini (a viscous one)
  • 75 C Crumbled Vanilla Halva
  • 2 T Date Molasses


  1. Mix together the water, date molasses, and yeast together and let sit for ten minutes.
  2. While the yeast is activating, mix together the flours and salt.
  3. Add the eggs and oil to the yeast mixture and whisk.
  4. Add the dry and wet mixtures together, knead until a smooth dough is formed (this can also be achieved by beating it up in a dough mixer for 8 minutes or so).
  5. Let the dough rest for two hours under a damp dishtowel.
  6. Mix together all of the filling ingredients.
  7. Using a rolling pin on a floured surface to make the dough a  9″ by 24″ rectangle.
  8. Dab and then spread the filling across the rectangle, leaving an inch perimeter of naked dough around the edges.
  9. Roll this up like a fruit roll up.
  10. Then cut it down the middle.
  11. Twist the two dough pieces into one. Than twist it a second time. It should look like this.

  1. Put it in an oiled loaf pan and let rise for an hour under a damp dishtowel.
  2. Heat the oven to 375°F/190°C.
  3. Put the dough in the oven for 35-40 minutes. At the 20 minute mark give it a tinfoil hat so prevent the top being burned.
  4. Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and brush the entire thing with simple syrup and let dry on a rack.
  5. Enjoy!



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