Cinnamon Apple ChallahDecember 27, 2014
Challah is typically made for the Jewish sabbath or holidays, like Rosh Hashanah. With the new year coming, I decided to make a round challah loaf as a symbol of the cycle of the seasons. It does take a bit for the dough to rise, but the result is a lightly sweet bread filled with cinnamon apples. This recipe makes 2 loaves.
You will need:
- 1 1/2 c lukewarm water, divided
- 1 pkg ( 2 1/4 t) yeast
- 1 t sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 3/4 c honey
- 2 T vegetable oil
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 t ground cinnamon, divided
- 5-7 c all-purpose flour
- 3 medium tart apples
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 1/4 t nutmeg
- 1/2 t ground ginger
Then you will…
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the warm water with the yeast and teaspoon of sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Mix in 1 egg, the three egg yolks, honey, vegetable oil, vanilla, salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon.
- Stir in the flour until it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and not sticky, adding more flour as needed.
- Place the dough in a bowl that is lightly oiled. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Punch the dough down and allow the dough to rise for another hour.
- Meanwhile, peel and finely dice the apples.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the apples with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the brown sugar, nutmeg and ginger.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal portion. Using your hands spread the each dough piece into a rectangle, roughly 12 inches by 3 inches.
- Add a little bit of the apple mixture down the middle of each piece, leaving at least an 1/8-inch border.
- Wrap the sides of the dough up over the apple and pinch to seal each piece into a tube filled with the apple mixture.
- Gentle roll and stretch each piece into a rope roughly 16 inches long. Be careful not to allow any apple to poke out.
- At this point you should have 8 ropes of apple dough. You will have 4 pieces for each loaf. Search online and you will find many different ways to braid a 4-strand challah. You can also search for a “turban challah” to see patterns for making a round loaf like I did.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Braid into two loaves and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg with a splash of water.
- Brush the egg wash on top of the loaves.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and brush again with the egg wash. At this point you can sprinkle a little brown sugar on top if you would like.
- Return the baking sheet to the oven, flipping it so the other side is to the back. Bake for another 20 minutes.
- Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.