This challah has been a staple in our home for the Jewish High Holidays since I was a baby. Over the years I have stayed up late with mom baking this bread with her to ensure it’s timeliness for dinner. This year was a special treat as it was my first time making it on my own. May this sweet and wonderful recipe bring you and your family full, happy tummies!
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water (100°F to 115°F)
4 to 5 cups flour
6 egg yolks
1/4 cup safflower or vegetable oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, melted
Apple Filling (recipe follows)
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water
4 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced
Juice of 1 large lemon
4 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Makes 1 Challah
In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the yeast, sugar, salt, warm water, and 2 cups of the flour, Blend in the egg yolks and oil. Add the remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, blending after each addition, until the dough is thick enough to word by hand. Gather the dough into a ball. Place it on a floured board and knead 5 to 10 minutes, adding additional flour, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl, and oil the top. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 and 1/2 hours.
Punch down the dough and divide into 3 parts. Roll each part into a rectangle. Brush with melted butter and top with the apple filling. Roll each rectangle into a long rope. Seal the ends of the rope together and braid. Place it on an oiled baking sheet. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush with egg yolk wash, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a rack.
In a bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, honey, and cinnamon. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. Drain thoroughly and use for the challah filling.