Warm, rich, and sweet, this honey apple challah is perfect for a holiday brunch with friends and family.
Serves: 8 to 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook & Proof Time: 4 hours
- 120g / 1/2 cup Crystal margarine, melted, plus extra for bowl and pan
- 435g / 3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
- 175ml / 3/4 cup warm water
- 340g / 1 cup honey
- 2 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 6g / 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 6g / 2 tsp coarse salt
- 2 tart green apples, preferably Granny Smith, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 2g / 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Grease a large bowl. Combine 2 tablespoons melted margarine, with the flour, water, 2/3 cup honey, eggs, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Mix until a rough dough forms.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer dough to greased bowl, and brush with 1 tablespoon melted margarine. Cover with plastic. Let rise in a warm place until dough almost doubles in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Toss the sliced apples with ground cinnamon until the apples are evenly coated.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Press into an 8 1/2 x 14-inch rectangle. Top with apples and roll to incorporate. Return to bowl and cover. Let rise again in a warm place until the dough almost doubles in volume, about 1 hour more.
- Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Roll dough into a rope, on a floured surface. Cut down the center lengthwise, then twist the two pieces. Transfer to the prepared pan and cover dough. Let rise again until dough almost doubles in volume, about 45 minutes more.
- Heat remaining margarine and 1/3 cup honey in a saucepan over medium-low heat until the margarine melts. Brush dough with half the honey-margarine.
- Bake until golden brown and firm, about 35 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and brush challah with the remaining honey-margarine. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Turn out loaf from pan, and let cool completely.
- To make individual challah loaves, divide the dough into 24 balls, and bake in a greased muffin pan.
- If you want to bake a fresh loaf on a day where you’re busy with friends and family, simply make the dough the night before. Once you get to the rising step just before baking, place the dough covered in the fridge to rest overnight. Then on the day of, pull it out of the fridge and let it rest for 30 minutes before baking as directed.