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
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.
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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