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Challah Style Apple Honey Bread

How to Make challah braided apple honey bread lizbushong.com

Sweet challah bread filled with diced apples, ground cinnamon and rum extract, rolled into 4 logs and braided into a round beautiful loaf.  This is a Jewish bread used to celebrate Rosh Hashanah symbolizing hope for a sweet New Year.

Ingredients

Scale

3/4 cup lukewarm water, 110 degrees

11/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

11/8 teaspoon active dry yeast

2 eggs, room temperature

1/4 + 2 tablespoons cup honey

1 tablespoon avocado or canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon fine salt + 1 teaspoon for apple bath

34 cups of all purpose flour

Apple Filling

11/2 medium gala apples, to be peeled and diced

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2  tablespoon flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup diced toasted walnuts -optional

1 tablespoon rum or vanilla extract- optional

Egg Wash

1 egg

1 teaspoon cold water

1/4 teaspoon salt

Glaze- Optional

23 tablespoons apple juice or apple cider

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Instructions

  1. In glass measuring cup microwave water for 20 seconds or until water temperature is 110 degrees.  Add sugar, stir, then add dry yeast.  Let the yeast proof for 8 minutes or until the yeast mixture expands and foamy.* See notes Yeast is activated and ready to mix when it foams and expands.
  2. In bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment, add proofed or activated yeast, room temperature eggs, honey oil, vanilla . Whisk to blend ingredients.
  3. Change attachment to dough hook and add 1 cup of flour to liquid mixture.  Mix on low speed so flour doesn’t fly, continue to add flour until dough is smooth, elastic and not sticky.  Once the dough starts to gather around the dough hook and cleans the sides of the mixing bowl, turn off mixer and add salt. Mix on low speed to mix the salt into the dough for another 2 minutes.
  4. On lightly floured counter surface, sprinkle with flour and dough from mixing bowl.  Knead dough a few more times about 2 minutes. Dough will be satiny smooth. Shape into a ball.
  5. You can rinse the mixing bowl or use a large glass bowl that is lightly greased with cooking spray and add dough round you just kneaded.  Cover with a towel or place in a warming drawer to allow dough to rise for 1 hour.
  6. After one hour punch down dough several times to remove air bubbles. Cover the dough with tea towel and place in warm area to allow dough to rise a second hour. 

Prepare apple filling/bath

  1. Fill a mixing bowl with ice water and dissolve 1/2 teaspoon salt. Peel and dice apples into 1/4″ thick pieces. Place the diced apples in the ice water.  Reserve until you are ready to braid the dough.
  2. After the doughs second rise, drain the water from the apples and pat dry.  Then add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, rum extract to the diced apples.  Toss and set aside.

Rolling the dough:

  1. On lightly floured surface, place risen dough and knead the dough adding tiny bit of flour if dough is sticky.  Knead until smooth. Let dough rest while you prepare your baking sheet.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. With sharp knife, cut dough into 4 equal pieces.
  4. With rolling pin, roll each of the 4 pieces into separate 12″ x 4″ wide strips.
  5. Divide the apple filling into 4 sections, place equal amounts of filling onto center and length of each strip.
  6. Fold top of lengthwise dough rectangle down over the center of filling, repeat with bottom dough over the top dough. covering filling completely.  Gently roll the dough into a smooth log.  If the apple pieces fall out, just tuck them back inside and patch the dough.  You should have 4 logs about 16-18″ long.
  7. Download this pdf to see folding technique. If you decide you don’t want to fold the log- ropes into a round, twist two logs together and place in a round on baking sheet.  If you do this twist, you will need two baking sheets lined with parchment. Or place in a loaf pan stacking the rope logs on top of each other.
  8. After braid is in a round shape, place on baking sheet with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cover braid with tea towel and place in warm place to allow dough to rise 30-45 minutes. *
  9. Mix egg wash, water and salt, brush wash over risen loaf, bake in warm oven for 20 minutes. Open oven door and brush exposed expanded areas of dough with second coat of egg wash, turn baking sheet around and continue to bake additional 20 minutes.  Total baking time is 45-50 minutes.  Be sure to watch last 10 minutes of baking to make sure your braid does not burn.  Cover with foil if needed to prevent over browning.  Bread is baked when bottom of loaf is browned and hollow sound is made when tapping on the crust.  If you have a temperature probe the correct temperature will be 190 degrees.

Glazing Braid

Mix in small bowl 2-3 tablespoons apple juice or cider.  Add 1 cup of confectioners sugar. whisk until smooth and creamy.  Drizzle over cooled braided round.  Allow to sit before storing.

Notes

  • If your yeast is not foaming, your water was too hot and the yeast was killed. Try again making sure your water is 110 degrees and foamy.  🙂
  • Dough is ready to bake when you press your finger into the dough and the indentation stays rather than bouncing back.
  • Bread can be made ahead and frozen with out the glaze. Be sure to wrap tightly in plastic wrap/ziplock bag and foil to protect.
  • To serve thaw at room temperature, glaze before serving if desired.
  • This makes great French Toast. Glazing is optional if you make french toast.

Keywords: Challah, Apple Bread, French Toast