Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cranberry Goat Cheese Challah

It can be hard to come up with different challah recipes so this week I went to the farmers market with my mom to get some inspiration. The farmers market is located just a few minutes away from my house and is held inside a garden center. There are many vendors who sell various food products such as bakery items, herbs, cheese, honey, soup, fudge, bagels, and sandwiches. Of course being a typical Jewish girl I had to get a bagel, although they didn't have lox so that was kind of disappointing. The bagel place also sold challah, but obviously they didn't look nearly as good as our challahs. I have actually thought about selling my challahs but I just don't have the time, maybe when I retire. But that's why I have this blog, so all of you can make your own challahs!

There were so many exciting flavors at the farmers market, and of course we had free samples of everything, but what really caught my eye was the West River Creamery cheese stand. The woman had many cheese for us to sample and we ended up choosing a fresh chevre with cranberry cheese, which is basically goat cheese with cranberries. I knew this would make a great flavor for our next challah!

Here's me at the farmers market with my cheese, baked goods, and my new friend Reptar!

Recipe: (makes 2 small loaves or 1 big loaf)
3/4 cup water
1 packet of active dry yeast (about 2 tsp)
1.75 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sugar
3 extra large eggs: 2 for dough, 1 for baste
1/4 cup oil
3-3.5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
Chevre with Cranberry (goat cheese with cranberry)

Mix wateryeasthoney and sugar in a mixing bowl. Place in a warm place. This could be next to a window that gets sunlight, or I like to place it in the oven at 120 degrees and then turn off the oven. Let stand for about 10-15 minutes or until the mixture starts to foam.

In a separate bowl mix 2 eggs and oil. Add to the yeast mixture after it has foamed. Add flour and salt. Make sure you mix the flour as you are adding it. Continue to add flour until the dough is no longer sticking to your hands.

Cut up the crasins, pecans, and walnuts and add to the dough. I'm not exactly sure how much we ended up using but it was less than we had cut up. We also added more later when braiding the dough.


Knead the ingredients and form into a ball. Oil the large bowl and then roll the ball of dough in the oil. This prevents the dough from sticking to the bowl as it rises. Place the ball back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place it in a warm place. Let the bowl sit for about 1-2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Remove dough from bowl and knead to get out all the air.

Separate the dough and roll out each ball into a strand. Crumple up the cheese and place on the strands, then pinch each strand closed. I did a 6 strand challah, but you can do whatever shape you want.

After braiding the challah, place on a buttered cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap and allow the challah to rise for at least 30 minutes in a warm place. This allows the dough to rise again.

Baste with egg wash (1 egg and 1/2 tbsp water).

Bake for about 35 minutes at 350 or until internal temperature is around 170. If the top of the challah is getting too dark or hard then place a piece of foil on top of it while the inside continues to cook. You will need to cover this challah if you choose 6 strand because it is tall so the inside takes longer to cook.

Yummy! I should really go to the farmers market more often!

1 comment:

  1. Cheese, cranberry and challah are in my routine diet and has alwats been my favourites but never tried combining them. This looks so fascinating and yummy. I will definitely try this. Thanks for sharing.