Recipe: (makes 8 shamrock challies, or 1 big shamrock)
3/4 cup water
1 packet of active rapid rise dry yeast (about 2 tsp)
3 tbsp honey
3 extra large eggs: 2 for dough, 1 for baste
1/4 cup oil
3-3.5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
Green food coloring
Filling: Whatever you want! white chocolate chips, chocolate chips, caramel chips, cinnamon sugar, nutella, raspberry jam
Mix water, yeast, and honey in a mixing bowl. We also decided to add in the food coloring here so we wouldn't have to knead it into the dough later (this helps keep your hands from turning colors because of the food coloring). 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.
We originally let it rise for about 10 minutes (left picture) but left it in for longer till it got really foamy (right picture). It rose for about 10 additional minutes in the oven to get to to be this foamy.
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 your hands.
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 an hour and a half, or until the dough has doubled in size.
After it had spent about an hour and 30 minutes rising take the dough out and see if you want to add any more food dye. (Warning adding in more dye here will tie-dye your hands! Don't worry the dye will eventually come out!)
Remove dough from bowl and knead to get out all the air. Roll out the strands fill them with whatever your heart desires! Next shape them into little shamrocks or a big shamrock.
After braiding the challah, place on a buttered cookie sheet and allow challah to rise for at least 30 minutes in a warm place. This allows the dough to rise again. I was able to fit all 8 challies on one cookie sheet!
Baste with egg wash (1 egg and 1/2 tbsp water).
*we forgot to egg wash so they accidentally baked for 10 minutes then we egg washed them and had them bake for another 10-15. They surprisingly came out okay! Not gonna lie we were a little worried!*
Bake for about 25 minutes for little shamrocks and 35 minutes for one big shamrock 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 do that for this challah so that it stays green.
Everybody loved the shamrock Challah! The best part is how each challie had a different filling. We said that it was the luck of the Irish and you had to pick one and find out what was inside like a mystery.