Apple Honey Challah

Challah Bread is a traditional Jewish braided bread. From Hannukah to Friday night dinners, Challah is pretty much a staple and it is so easy to make that it should be in everyone's repertoire. Plus it is delicious to use for sandwiches, french toast, or just by itself.
Apple Honey Challah

I like making Challah with honey and apple juice – it adds a touch of sweetness and makes it even more delicious. The first time I made this bread I was planning on bringing it to a friends house for a Seder and my husband ate a whole loaf by himself in less than half an hour – good thing the recipe makes two loaves!

This is a rounded Challah – I think it’s the most forgiving in terms of braiding technique. Feel free to try making the more traditional shape if you’d like.

  1. Start with your flour in a large bowl and create a small well in the center.
  2. Heat your apple juice so it’s warm to the touch but not too hot, it doesn’t need to boil or anything. Pour about 1/3 – 1/4 of your apple juice into the well, enough to fill the well about 3/4 of the way, but not more and then pour the rest into a separate bowl.
  3. To the apple juice well, add the yeast and a few drops of honey, stir a tiny bit if and set it aside so the yeast can start to work.
  4. To the rest of your apple juice add an egg, oil and salt.
  5. Check on your yeast – it should have bubbled up and filled the well, if it hasn’t yet, give it a few more minutes to do so. If it has, add the wet ingredients to the flour and start hand-mixing your dough. When the ingredients have started to come together in the bowl, start kneading the dough on a flat surface. If the mixture is way too sticky add a bit more flour as needed (up to a cup more).
  6. Once you have a ball dough, coat the inside of a clean bowl with oil. Make sure to oil the dough completely and set a damp towel or cloth over the dough. Leave it to rise in a warm spot (I usually put mine near the stove or oven) for 1 to 2 hours.
  7. Once the dough has risen, knead it a few times and cut it in half. Each half will make a Challah.  Cut the first half  into four even sections.
  8. Roll your four even sections into strips. Line a baking sheet with parchement paper.
  9. Now let’s braid the Challah! Place two parallel strips of dough on the bakig sheet and then place two other parallel strips on the baking sheet, weaving them through the first two. For the braid, move every other strip to the right, and the remaining strips to the left.  Tighten up the ends by tucking them under or by knotting them together – depending on how much dough is left over.
  10. Cover the loaf with a damp towel and let it rise for 20 to 30 minutes.
  11. Make an egg wash by whisking one egg with a few splashes of cold water.  Brush the egg wash onto the challah using a pastry brush and sprinkle with salt.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

If you can, eat it warm – it is so good!