Chocolate Orange Challah

I’ve bookmarked this recipe for more than a year and now I’ve finally made it!!

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There’s a rich chocolate spread weaving its way through the bread.

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And it’s paired with orange juice AND zest in the dough. Classic combination.

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The shape’s so pretty as well. So visually impressive. Perfect for tricking your friends into thinking you’re a better baker than you actually are.

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The visual contrast gets less obvious after baking but it’s a fair trade-off for the crisp crust.

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I underbaked mine slightly however. And when I tried baking the slices more in the oven the dough around the filling remained a little raw. Not sure if this was the nature of the filling, or if this problem would have resolved if I just baked it right in the first place. Just something to keep in mind.

I got the recipe from here. Check out my previous challah here!

Ingredients

Dough

  • 10g active dry yeast (about 3.5 tsp)
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp orange juice
  • Zest of 1 large orange
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil plus more for the bowl
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 eggs + 1 yolk
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 530g all purpose flour (about 4 1/4 cups)
  • 1 egg for egg wash

Filling

  • 4.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (about 130g, 70% chocolate)
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened (about 113g)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (I used slightly less, about 60g)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Method

  1. Microwave the orange juice to body temperature. Mix the orange juice with the yeast and stir to dissolve. Mix with the oil, honey, eggs, yolk and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the salt and flour together. Mix the dry ingredients with the liquid and knead until smooth and elastic.
  3. Oil the dough and cover with oiled cling film. Let it sit for an hour before transferring to the fridge to rise overnight.
  4. The next day, punch down the dough and let it come back to room temperature. Cover and let it rise again until doubled in size.
  5. Meanwhile make the filling. Melt together the butter and chocolate either in a microwave in 20s intervals stirring well in between or over a double boiler. Mix in the granulated sugar and cocoa powder until combined. Let it sit at room temperature.
  6. Split the dough into two. Over a lightly floured surface, roll each half into a 45cm x 20 cm rectangle, about 0.5cm thick.
  7. Spread the chocolate over the rectangle, leaving the top inch bare.
  8. From the bottom edge (the long side with the chocolate), roll it up like a swiss roll, making sure the edge ends at the bottom.
  9. Cover the two logs with floured cling film and let it rise for another hour.
  10. Cut each log lengthwise. With each strip cutside up, shape the challah like this. Cover with the floured cling film and let rise again for two hours until it looks slightly puffy.
  11. Brush with egg wash, and wait for 15 mins. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 190°C.
  12. Brush the bread with the egg wash again and bake for 35-45 mins. If your challah browns too much cover with aluminium foil. The bread is done when it sounds hollow when you tap it.
  13. Let cool on a wire rack.

Notes

  • Try not to add too much flour when kneading the bread. It might seem sticky at first but just keep kneading and it’ll come together.
  • The original writer of the recipe says that dissolving the yeast first results in a consistently smooth and sticky dough. I can’t confirm the validity of this statement but hey it’s not that much of a hassle to do it.
  • I ended up with slightly more filling than the bread needed, so you could probably get away with it if you made less. I’d say about 100g would be enough but I didn’t change the recipe because I might have been too stingy with my filling or something.
  • Be patient with the rising times. I was a little impatient and I think my bread wasn’t as fluffy as it could have been because of that.
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