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Savory Mixed Olive Tapenade Babka

sun dried tomato babka

We are breaking the rules: delicious salty and garlicky olive fillings meets babka. Yes, savory babka is a thing. Serve this babka for brunch, lunch, dinner, or as an amazing hors d’ oeuvres.

When shaping the babka, twist dough evenly throughout the length of the roll a full 5 to 6 turns. The babka can be prepared, panned and frozen for up to a month before baking. When ready to bake, remove from freezer; let stand at room temperature for about 5 hours, and bake.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 3 loavesServings


Mixed Olive Tapenade

  • 3 cups pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 cup pitted green olives
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 1½ cups warm water (110°F)   
  • 2 (¼-ounce each) packages active dry yeast
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ cup honey
  • 4 whole eggs, room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1¾ cups extra virgin olive oil plus more for greasing loaf pans


Mixed Olive Tapenade:

1. Pulse olives, garlic, tomatoes, rosemary, evoo, red pepper, salt and pepper in a food processor until it forms a coarse puree. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.


1. Mix water, yeast, 1 cup of flour and salt in a bowl. Cover with a towel and let stand until the surface is spongy and foamy.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk 3 whole eggs, egg yolks, honey and evoo.

3. Once yeast mixture is foamy, pour into a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add egg mixture and beat on low speed. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing for 30 seconds until incorporated. Change to the dough hook. and knead for 5 minutes until it forms a smooth, soft dough that’s slightly tacky when squeezed.

4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead a few turns until smooth. Grease a large bowl with evoo. Place dough in bowl, and turn dough to coat with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled.

5. After dough has risen, generously grease three 9- x -5-inch loaf pans and line them with parchment paper.

6. In a small bowl, whisk remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water; set egg wash aside. Punch back the dough, and transfer to a clean surface. Let rest 5 minutes. Cut into 3 equal pieces. Keep 2 pieces covered with plastic wrap while working with the remaining piece. On a generously floured surface, roll dough out into a 16-inch square that’s 1/8-inch thick.

7. Shmear 1/3 of olive mixture on rolled dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border clear of filling around the edges. Roll up dough tightly like a jelly roll. Pinch ends together to seal. Slice filled dough rope in half. Twist 5 or 6 turns. Twist roll 2 turns, and fit into prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining 2 pieces of dough and remaining filling.

8. Preheat oven to 350°F.

9. Brush the top of each loaf with egg wash. Loosely cover each pan with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes.

10. After the second rise, place loaves in 350°F oven to bake for 45 to 55 minutes, rotating loaves halfway through.

11. Lower oven temperature to 325°F degrees and bake 15 to 20 minutes more, until babkas are deep golden. Remove from oven, and transfer to wire racks until cool. Remove from pans; serve. Babkas freeze well for up to 1 month.