Monday, August 13, 2012

Dutch Apple Challah

Looking back on the challahs we have made this summer, most of them include either chocolate or peanut butter. However, I am always looking for ways to add fruit to our challahs while still fulfilling our sweet tooth. Our friends Stacy and Jordyn were supposed to come visit us today to skate and make some challah but something came up and they weren't able to come. Jordyn had said that she wanted to make a coffee cake challah so when we decided to use apples today we incorporated the essence of coffee cake by including the brown sugar and cinnamon. Jordyn is basically like a sister to us. We have known her family for years as we went to the same hebrew school for a year and then we skated on different lines of our past synchro team. Last summer when my family moved in the middle of the summer to Massachusetts I stayed with them for two weeks and thoroughly enjoyed our coffee ice cream late night snacks and soynut butter and banana sandwiches. Our families are even more intertwined now that our brother Jeffrey works for her father Jeff. They are even going to be doubles partners in a tennis tournament. But don't worry, Stacy is planning on making shirts to embarrass them as she cheers them on.

Recipe: (makes 2 loaves)
3/4 cup water
1 packet of active dry yeast (about 2 tsp)
1 tbsp white sugar
3 extra large eggs: 2 for dough, 1 for baste
5 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp oil
3/4 tbsp honey
3/4 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
3-4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 apples
additional cinnamon and brown sugar

Mix water, yeast and white sugar into a mixing bowl. Place in a warm place. This could be next to a window that gets sunlight, in the oven at 120 degrees or any other way to warm the mixture. Let stand for about 10 minutes or until the mixture starts to foam.

In a separate bowl mix 2 eggs, brown sugar, oil, honey, cinnamon and vanilla. Add to the yeast mixture after it has foamed.

Add 2 cups of flour, followed by the salt, and then the rest of the flour. Make sure you mix the flour as you are adding it. Continue to add flour until the dough is no longer sticking to you hands.

Knead the ingredients and form into a ball. Oil the large bowl and then roll the ball of dough in the oil. Place the ball back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place it in a warm place. Let the bowl sit for at least an hour and a half.

Dice apples into small pieces.

Remove dough from bowl and knead the dough to get out all the air. Roll out the strands and layer brown sugar, cinnamon and apples then close the strand.

We made a hamsa challah and a 3 strand challah but make any shape or braid you want.

After braiding the challah place on a buttered cookie sheet and allow to rise for at least 30 minutes in a warm place. Baste with egg wash (1 egg and 1/2 tbsp water) and place in oven. Bake for about 25-30 minutes at 350 or until internal temperature is around 185.

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