Instead of making one challah on Friday, we decided to make two. Jenn isn't a big fan or raisins so a cinnamon sugar challah was a great alternative. We were able to use the same cinnamon dough. The only differences came after after the dough sat for an hour. Jenn was skating that morning so our mom helped instead.
Like I said in our previous post, we were pressed for time because we were going on a boat ride and had to finish our challahs before we left, but we still found time to take Bailey to the park for a swim.
Recipe: (makes 2 loaves)
3/4 cup of water
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/4 tbsp honey
3 jumbo eggs: 2 for dough and 1 for egg baste
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tbsp sugar
4 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
Extra cinnamon, sugar, and butter
Start off by pouring warm water into a large bowl. Our friend Stacy told us that adding sugar when adding the yeast helps the dough to rise. So add 1 tbsp of sugar, yeast, and honey to the water. Lightly mix all the ingredients with a wooden spoon. Let the ingredients sit for a little over 10 minutes, you will start to see some bubbles.
Mix the eggs (whites and yoke) and vegetable oil together and then add to the large bowl.
Add the rest of the sugar (2 tbsp) and half of the flour. Then add the salt and cinnamon, followed by the rest of the flour. It is important that the dough is not completely solid when adding the cinnamon, because that makes it hard to evenly spread. Also, salt kills yeast so it's important not to add the salt before adding at least half the flour.
The recipe calls for 4 cups of flour but we used about 3 1/2 or 3 3/4 cups this time. You want to add flour until the dough is no longer sticking to your hands. The dough should still seem airy when it is done. If you add too much flour the dough will have more resistance.
Knead the ingredients with your hands and then form into a ball. Place the ball back into the large bowl and cover with saran wrap (plastic wrap). Let the dough rise for at least an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Once the dough has doubled, knead it again so that all the air bubbles come out.
We chose to do a 3 strand challah because we wanted to put the cinnamon sugar mixture inside the challah. Usually when we do a filled challah we like to do 3 strands so that it doesn't end up huge. But feel free to do as many strands as you want.
Roll out the strands and flatten them.
To make the cinnamon sugar mixture mix cinnamon and sugar in a cup. We want a 3:1 ratio where there is 3x as much cinnamon as sugar. Then melt the butter in the microwave.
Add a layer of the melted butter and then the cinnamon sugar mixture on top.
Close the strand by pinching it. Braid the challah and then let it sit for about 10-20 minutes. Butter the cookie sheet while you wait. After placing the challah on the buttered sheet, baste the challah with the remaining egg. The egg should be previously mixed with a fork.
Add the cinnamon sugar mixture to the top of the basted challah. My mom added some butter to the top too.
Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 or until internal temperature is around 170 degrees.
I have to say that this is one of our best challahs yet! It definitely needed more of the cinnamon sugar mixture inside. Next time we will have to flatten out the strands more before adding the filling.