This honey challah bread is filled with apples. Perfect for Fall and the high holidays, this is one spectacular loaf. With or without the apples, be sure to make this challah!
1/4 c, plus 1 1/4 c lukewarm water
1 packet of 1/4 oz active dry yeast or 2 1/4 t
1 t sugar
3 egg yolks
3/4 c honey
2 T canola oil
2 t vanilla
2 t salt
7 c flour
3 Granny Smith or Honey crisp apples
1/4 c sugar
1 T cold water
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, pour 1/4 c of the lukewarm water. Add 1 packet of active dry yeast and 1 t of sugar to the bowl and mix to dissolve. Wait 10 minutes for yeast to activate.
Add remaining 1 1/4 c lukewarm water to the bowl with the egg, egg yolks, honey, oil, vanilla and salt. Mix well.
Add four cups of the flour, one at a time, mixing with paddle attachment, between each cup. After you have added the four cups, switch to the dough hook attachment and add the remaining thee cups one at a time. The dough will be sticky.
Grease a large bowl and set dough ball inside. Cover with plastic wrap.
Preheat the oven to the lowest setting. When it is preheated, turn the oven off and set the bowl in the oven. Leave oven door ajar.
Let rise about an hour. Punch down dough and cover. Preheat oven again to the lowest setting then turn oven off. Place dough bowl inside and leave door ajar. Let dough rise until doubled in size. I let this go about two hours, but it may rise sooner than that. Use finger indentation test as described above to test to see if it has risen enough.
While dough is rising, chop apples into small pieces. Place in water with a squeeze of lemon to keep the apples from turning brown. When ready to use, drain and dry apples well. Toss with 1/4 of sugar.
After the second rise, flour a smooth surface and remove the dough from the ball. Punch down the dough and add flour as needed if dough is sticky. (I did not need to do this.)
Divide the dough into two equal halves. Put one half of the dough back into the bowl and cover with a damp towel.
Divide the dough into four equal portions and stretch or roll it into a rough rectangle about 1 foot long and 3-4″ wide. Sprinkle about 2 T of the sugared apples onto the rectangle. Gently roll the upper edge of the rectangle down to the lower edge and pinch to seal, creating a long strand of dough filled with apples.
Roll the stuffed strand, until it becomes smooth while applying gentle pressure with your hands and pulling outward as you roll. Repoke any apples into the dough if they poke out! Taper the ends of the strands and try to make sure that each strand is the same size.
Braid with your favorite method above or use the directions supplied with the link above.
Let the dough rise 30-45 minutes longer and then preheat oven to 350 degrees. While this loaf rises, prepare and braid the other half of dough.
When first loaf is ready to be baked, brush with egg wash made by beating the egg and water. Reserve the leftover egg wash as you will need it.
Bake this loaf for 20 minutes and then brush again with egg wash, coating the grooves of the challah bread well. Turn the challah around so the opposite side faces front and pace back in the oven. Bake for another 20 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the loaf reaches 190 degrees. You may also turn the loaf over and tap it. If the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow, it is done.
Let the challah loaf cool completely before serving.
Bake second loaf as described above.
Thanks to Miriinthe village.com for this great recipe.
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