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
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
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