Jewish Bread Recipes
Apple Challah Recipe
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Apple Challah - pareve, dairy

Makes 1 large or 2 medium loaves, 20 slices

1 cup warm water (110 F)
1 tsp. sugar plus 1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp. dry yeast [40 grams of fresh; or 4 Tablespoons of Shimrit*]
2 eggs, room temperature
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
2-1/2 tsp. salt, preferably kosher
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup oil (or melted, unsalted butter)
5 to 6 cups, approximately, bread flour or unbleached all-purpose flour

1 egg
1 egg yolk [see Note #1]

3 cups coarsely chopped apples, peeled or not (2 to 3 large apples)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

2 to 3 Tbs. sugar for sprinkling

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the warm water, the teaspoon of sugar and the yeast. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes to expand yeast.

Briskly stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, the eggs, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and oil (or melted butter). Add in most of the flour to form a soft dough. Knead eight to 10 minutes to make a smooth dough, adding more flour as needed (the end result will still be slightly sticky). Place in a
lightly oiled bowl and cover with a slightly damp tea towel and let rest until doubled, about one hour.

Prepare egg wash by whisking together the whole egg and egg yolk. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 12-by-5-inch loaf pan generously with non-stick cooking spray. You can also use a 12-cup tube pan (a bundt pan may also be used) or two 8-1/2-by-4-1/2-inch pans.

Meanwhile, prepare the apples. Try Golden Delicious or McIntosh. Place in a medium-sized bowl and toss with sugar and cinnamon. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board. Roll or pat out into a large round (about 10 inches across). Press in half of the apples. Fold the dough over to cover apples and press to seal. Flatten dough slightly and press in remaining apples, folding dough over apples, and pressing in any apples that may pop out (just put them back or stick them on top of the dough later). Don't worry if apples and sugar start oozing out -- it works out in the end. Let dough rest 5 minutes on the work surface. Using a sharp knife, cut into 16 chunks. Lay the chunks of apple-filled dough in prepared pan, lining bottom first, then gently laying remaining pieces on top. Top with any escaped apple pieces.

Dab on egg wash as thoroughly and generously as possible (since dough is not a smooth surface, you have to drizzle and dab on the glaze, rather than paint it on). Sprinkle with sugar. Cover loaf pan lightly with damp tea towel.

Let rise until doubled or until loaf is almost flush with the top of the pan, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on weather and dough's inclinations.

Bake 42 to 45 minutes in the large loaf pan or tube pan, 35 to 40 for the smaller loaf pan. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing and cooling on a rack.

Leftovers make terrific French toast.

Zillah Bahar, Jewish Bulletin of Northern California


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