- Hands-on time:
- 20 mins. to 30 mins.
- Baking time:
- 38 mins. to 42 mins.
- Total time:
- 3 hrs 13 mins. to 5 hrs 12 mins.
- one 9" round challah
Challah is typically made as a long, braided loaf, its crust a shiny golden brown from a glaze of beaten egg applied before baking. But Rosh Hashanah challah, which celebrates the Jewish new year, often appears in a spiral — signifying the circle of life. This particular challah is studded with fresh apple and raisins, and rolled in an aromatic coating of cinnamon-sugar — autumn flavors to complement the September Rosh Hashanah holiday.
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 4 teaspoons instant yeast, SAF Gold instant yeast preferred*
- 3/4 cup raisins, regular, golden, or a mixture
- 3/4 cup diced apple (1/2" cubes); leave the skin on, if you like
- *If you use regular (SAF Red) instant yeast, you'll see an increase in your rising times.
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1) To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients and mix and knead them, by hand, mixer, or bread machine, until you have a soft, smooth dough.
- 2) Allow the dough to rise, covered, for about 1 to 2 hours (or more, if you don't use SAF Gold yeast), or until it's puffy though probably not doubled in bulk.
- 3) Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.
- 4) Pat and roll the dough into a 36" rope, tapering one end. Poke any raisins or apple bits sticking out of the dough back underneath the dough's surface; this will help prevent them from burning in the oven. Sprinkle the dough with cinnamon-sugar, rolling it around to coat as completely as possible.
- 5) Starting with the tapered end, coil the rope loosely into a lightly greased 9" round cake pan, starting at the center and working outwards.
- 6) Cover the loaf with lightly greased plastic wrap (or place it in a proof box), and let it rise until it's very puffy, 60 to 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- 7) Whisk together the egg white and 1 tablespoon water, and brush this glaze over the risen loaf. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon-sugar, if desired.
- 8) Place the cake pan atop a baking sheet; this will insulate the bread's bottom crust, and keep it from browning too much. Put the challah in the lower third of the oven, and bake it for 20 minutes.
- 9) Tent the challah loosely with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 18 to 22 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will register 200°F or above.
- 10) Remove the bread from the oven, and place it on a rack to cool.
- Yield: one 9" spiral challah.