Challah for Rosh Hashanah
Make this bread by hand or in a stand mixer with the dough hook. Either method works, but there is something very soul-satisfying about handmixing and kneading bread, especially for holiday meals. You may use either all purpose or bread flour. I prefer White Lily bread flour for it’s lighter results. Depending on your location you may not need all four cups of flour. The dough will be soft, and a bit sticky because of the fruit, but it should be firm enough to shape and bread. Most bakers work by touch, so rely on your own instincts as to when the dough is right consistency. This bread will fill your home with wonderful aromas, and the taste is the essence of a holiday. I made this once for a group of college kids celebrating Rosh Hashanah away from home. They, especially the guys, took less than five minutes to finish it off! In the unlikely case that you have leftovers, use them for French Toast. My husband says “top it apricot jam and whipped cream and have it for dessert.”
Start to finish time: 4 hours.
Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1/4 cup dried apricot halves — cut in small dice
1/4 cup raisins
1 medium apple — one cup when peeled, cored and cut in small dice
1 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon — or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon cardamom — or more to taste
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter — melted
3 large eggs — or two large duck eggs, if available
4 cups bread flour — all purpose flour works too!
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon sugar
Place the apricots raisins and apples in the boiling water and let sit for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly and squeeze dry. Combine with the cinnamon, cardamom and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Let cool to room temperature.
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the eggs, melted butter and sugar and beat to mix well. Stir in the prepared fruit. (by hand or in stand mixer)
Stir the salt into one cup of the flour. Add the flour one cup at a time to produce a soft but workable dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead about eight minutes. (2 minutes if using a stand mixer)
Place dough into an oiled or greased bowl, turning once to oil the top. Cover and let rise for 90 minutes. If your oven has a proofing setting, use it. If not, let the dough rise in the oven with the light on.
Gently punch down the dough, form or braid it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with sugar. Return to oven for second rising (about 30 to 45 minutes)
Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes depending upon your oven. The loaf should be firm, golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
Cool on a rack to room temperature, and wrap in foil until you reheat for serving. If made in advance, this freezes beautifully. Reheat, still wrapped in foil at 170 degrees.
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 280 Calories; 6g Fat (20.1% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 48g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 72mg Cholesterol; 245mg Sodium; 12g Total Sugars; trace Vitamin D; 24mg Calcium; 1mg Iron; 165mg Potassium; 90mg Phosphorus. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch).