Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sweet Challah for the New Year

Welcome back to Brisket & Beyond! 

I took the summer off from the blog.  But now Rosh Hashanah is around the corner, and I wanted to start the new year  with a new recipe.

I'm sure the first food that everyone thinks about for Rosh Hashanah is apples and honey, but who needs a recipe for that?!?    I love to go to the bakery and see all of the different flavors of big round challot to start the new year sweet.  My favorite is an eggy, sweet, raisin challah, but I won't turn any challah down. 

When I was living in St. Louis, my friend Mindy would make a cinnamon swirl challah every Friday night.  Luckily, I was invited over to her home often for Shabbat dinners and was able to sample the challah frequently.  Two weeks ago, when I began to think about menu planning for the holidays, I immediately thought about her challah and knew I needed to try it out.  Here is her recipe.

Cinnamon Swirl Challah
4 Cups of flour
3 eggs (one reserved)
2 Tablespoon yeast
1 Cup warm water
1/3 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla
dash of salt

Cinnamon Filling:
3 Tablespoon Cinnamon
3 Tablespoon Oil
3 Tablespoon Sugar

In a small bowl mix water, yeast and sugar together.  Let sit till bubbles (about 10 minutes).

In a large bowl place flour and salt and make a hole in the middle.

Meanwhile, mix together the oil, 2 eggs, vanilla.  Then pour into the hole in the middle of the flour.  Let that mixture sit until the yeast is ready.  Once the yeast rises, add to the center of flour mixture and mix.

Once the dough is formed, cover with a damp towel and place in a warm area (I put it in a turned off oven) and allow the dough to rise for a few hours.

While the dough is rising, mix together the cinnamon, sugar and oil for the filling.

Once the dough has risen, knead down.

To make a round challah, divide the dough into two.  With each half, roll the dough out like a snake.  Press dough down and put cinnamon mixture in the middle and pinch close.  Roll the dough up into a ball (so it looks like a large cinnamon bun) and place it onto a cookie sheet or a round pan.   Lightly brush the dough with an egg wash (the remainder egg mixed with a little water).  Let formed dough rise again for another 45 minutes.

Preheat oven at 350 and bake challah for about 30 minutes, or until done.  This makes two Challot.

I made two batches of the challah so far, but on my second batch, I switched things up a little.  I made a little less cinnamon filling and added lots of raisins to the cinnamon.  I added the cinnamon-raisin mixture just like above.  This would also work for lots of other sweet inserts like chocolate chips or other yummies you want to add to make your Rosh Hashanah sweet. 

L'shana Tova U'Metukah!!!  To a Good and SWEET New Year!!!