Did you know that the plural for challah is challot/challos? Which means the time is ripe to make shallot challot.
But I digress.
Apple and rosemary is just a winning combination for me. The aroma and savouriness from the rosemary perfectly complements the sweet tartness of the apples. You don’t really taste the honey but I’d like to think that it’s doing something to how good this bread tastes and smells.
The most difficult part of this recipe was definitely trying to keep the apple pieces in the dough. I was too scared to reintegrate them into the dough but I’d say be brave in the future and do it because I was getting only one piece of apple in a slice of bread.
And of course you could braid it in a round way, or more like a loaf.
The secret to the DELECTABLE brown crust of the challah is the double egg wash which is absolutely necessary don’t skip it.
And the best part about making challah? Making french toast with it the next day. An eggy enriched bread with MORE EGGS? DELICIOUS.
Also, guess who just figured out how to make gifs using photoshop? Enjoy this video of me fingering my bread.
I got the recipe from here, I just added rosemary, used a different shaping technique, and made some minor changes.
Ingredients (makes 1 challah)
- 7g instant yeast
- 2/3 cup (158ml) water
- 1/3 cup (79ml) plus 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/3 cup (79ml) olive oil, plus more for the bowl (although you could use other neutral oils like vegetable oil, I just like the flavour of olive oil in challah)
- 2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk (+1 large egg for egg wash)
- 8g (1 1/2tsp) salt
- 578g bread flour
- 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut to 1/2-3/4 inch chunks (I used Granny Smith apples, see notes)
- Lemon juice to keep the apples from browning (optional)
- About 2tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped.
- In a large bowl, mix together the yeast, water, oil, honey, and 2 large eggs + 1 large yolk. Then add the flour, salt, and chopped rosemary. Knead well until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Coat the dough ball with a little bit of oil, cover, and let rise until doubled in size (about an hour).
- Turn the dough out onto an oiled surface and roll out (with a lightly oiled rolling pin) into a rectangular shape. Spread 2/3 of the apple chunks over 1/2 of the dough.
- Fold the other half of the dough over the apples and press the dough down around them. Spread the remaining apples over half of the folded dough, and fold the other half over the apples, pressing down again. (You should end up with a square-ish lump of dough).
- Fold the corners down under the dough ball and form it into a round shape.
- Cover and let rise until about doubled in size (about 45 mins).
- Divide the dough into 4 pieces (you can weigh the dough if want ~perfect balance~), and roll each piece out into a long log. Shape the challah like this onto baking paper-lined baking sheet.
- Beat a large egg until smooth and brush over the challah (egg wash). Let the challah rise for another hour until it looks about doubled and puffy.
- Before baking, egg wash the challah again. Bake in a preheated 190°C/375°F oven for 40-45 mins until very brown or when you tap the bottom of the loaf it sounds hollow. If it starts browning too quickly tent a piece of aluminium foil and place over the loaf.
- Let cool on a cooling rack.
- All timings listed are a general guide. It’s better to follow the description (eg doubled in size) rather than the timings, as the timing depends on many factors like the activity of your yeast, or the surrounding temperature.
- If you’re using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, you might have to activate the yeast first. Warm up the water that was supposed to go into the bread till it’s about body temperature, and then add the yeast into the water. When the mixture is foamy (about 5-10 mins later), the yeast-water is ready to be used. Be careful not to make the water too hot or you’ll kill the yeast.
- I definitely used a lot less apples than the original recipe writer did (I think I ended up using just under 1 apple). The amount of apples that she had in her pictures looked more like 1 apple to me, and it felt like my dough could not handle any more apples as well. But then again I thought that there wasn’t enough apples in my loaf so I would encourage trying to squeeze as much of the 2 apples into this bread as humanly possible, and poking any apple pieces that fell out back into the dough.
- The original recipe uses flour to make the dough easier to work with but I’ve always liked working with oil better to prevent drying out the dough.