Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Apple-Honey Challah



I'm not sure it's fair to call this a bread recipe. "Bread" makes me think of delicious things like whole grains, oats, and crusty goodness. This Challah is not that - it's light, fluffy, eggy, sweet, and tart. Not to mention unbelievably beautiful and although time intensive, simple to make - the perfect lazy Sunday project.

I tend to pick up a Martha Stewart Living magazine a few times a year - Martha is still "Martha" to me, a classy smart lady with a load of taste. This Apple-Honey Challah is the featured recipe in the back of the September issue, in honor of the upcoming Rosh Hashanah holiday. On Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, challah is sometimes rolled into a circular shape (referred to as a "Turban Challah"), symbolizing the cycle of the year. Sometimes the top is brushed with honey in honor of the "sweet new year." If you celebrate Rosh Hashanah, perfect now you know what to bring to your party! If not, you should still bake a loaf - if the photos haven't tempted you enough should I mention the Apple-Honey Challah french toast we made with this? Ohhhh yeah.

Apple-Honey Challah
slightly adapted from Martha Stewart Living, September 2009
makes 1 9-inch round loaf

4 tbl unsalted butter, melted plus a bit more for bowl & pan
3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour, plus more for surface
3/4 cup warm water
2/3 cup honey plus 2 tbls
*check your local farmers markets for honey! I used Katama honey from Martha's Vineyard.
2 large farm fresh eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
2 tea active dry yeast
2 tea coarse salt
1 1/2 tart green apples, preferably Granny Smith, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 1 3/4 cups)


1. Melt 4 tbls butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; let cool. Combine 2 tbl melted butter, the flour, water, 2/3 cup honey, the eggs and yolks, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Mix until dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes.

2. Transfer dough to a buttered bowl, and brush with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Cover with plastic. Let rise in a warm place until dough almost doubles in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.

3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Pat into an 8 1/2 by 14 inch rectangle. Top with apples; knead to incorporate. Return to bowl. Brush with remaining tbl melted butter (keep saucepan out for last step); cover. Let rise again in a warm place until dough almost doubles in volume, about 1 hour more.



4. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Roll dough into a rope (about 24 inches) on a floured surface. Coil into a circle, and transfer to pan. Cover dough with plastic wrap. Let rise again until dough almost doubles in volume, about 45 minutes more.

5. Preheat oven to 375, with rack in lowest position. Heat remaining 2 tbls of honey in pan you used to melt the butter over low heat. Brush dough with half the honey. Bake until golden brown and firm, about 35 minutes.

6. Once out of the oven, brush challah with the remaining honey. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Turn out loaf from pan, and let cool.


22 comments:

  1. That is so beautiful. I just sent the recipe to my sister. She made challah for many years. I'll get a report back from her when she makes it. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent call, using that challah for french toast - scrumptious!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. David-Please let us know how your sister likes the recipe. I think it's a fun twist on a classic.

    VeggieGirl-Yes, the french toast was amazing! We're toasting up some more Challah right now, topping with Anna's homemade jams!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my yum! I see such a treat for the first time and it looks amazing

    ReplyDelete
  5. this looks ridiculously good -- I'm going to make this for my sweety when she gets back from a trip. Nice!

    ReplyDelete
  6. this is so beautiful, and i love the colors and lighting you chose for the photo,it make it look even more delicious than it already it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Beautiful! I made challah french toast the other day--it's the only way to go!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm just going to say it, that is a stunning loaf of bread. Can bread be stunning? I think it can. I haven't made a homemade challah yet, but this post screams "what's the holdup!?".

    ReplyDelete
  9. A friend made this challah and brought it to a dinner party.. it was delicious- a must to bake for the Jewish New Year- incorporates all the symbols of the holiday, honey, apples- we loved every bite!! There wasn't a morsel left!! I DEFINITELY recommend this challah

    ReplyDelete
  10. Just made this with pears instead of apples; it's beautiful, and we hope it's as delicious as it looks! -Liz and Meghan

    ReplyDelete
  11. Planning my Rosh/Yom menu now. I always make Challah, and can't wait to try this with the tart apples and honey. It's a mitzvah!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This looks fantastic! I can't imagine a better way to celebrate the flavors of the delicious apples that are just coming into season. Lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I loved this bread! Yours looks wonderful. I'm seriously thinking of making it again soon. An yep, I made french toast too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. i'm definitely making this, but a quick question. can the dough be made a day ahead of time? i have guests coming at 6 and don't think i'll have the time to wait around for the dough the day of. if so, would you leave it out or put it in the fridge. let me know. i can't wait!

    ReplyDelete
  15. i made this, and it was truly delicious. however, i had to add a lot of extra flour to get the dough to the right consistency at first, and then the top browned really quickly once it was in the oven, so i had to cover it with foil about 15-20 minutes in. otherwise, it was fantastic, and i will definitely make it again!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Can I make this as a braided challah?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Samantha, Yes! I would just watch the cooking time as I'd expect a braided challah to bake faster. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I made this bread today and found the same as Myles: it needed much more flour to make it workable and the top became very dark. Also, when I baked it for 35 min, the center was not baked all the way through. I'm going to try it again, though, with some of my own modifications because,despite the first-time difficulties, IT IS DELICIOUS!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Where is my comment about ruining the recipe by using cold eggs, Ms. Waldman? Why did you take it down? I only said that it would help to be reminded to room temperaturize the eggs. Do you only allow people to post comments when they rave about your recipes? Or are novice cooks and their comments unwelcome altogether?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sarah... help! I have tried this now 3 times and I can't get it right. This time I even tried activating the yeast and it still wont rise. Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh no! I have no brilliant solutions but to say is it old or bad yeast? Have you tried a new package? Sometimes that happens to me but is very frustrating.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...