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Pecan Apple Honey Challah

One of my favorite breads has to be a egg based bread called Challah. This bread is Jewish in origin and eaten mainly on the Sabbath and high holy days. Normally its braided into one loaf. For the Jewish New Year , Rosh Hashana, its formed into a more circular pattern to symbolize the cycle of the year.Apples and honey symbolize a sweet new year . So a Challah made with apples and honey is loaded with symbolism and reference. One doesn't have to be Jewish to appreciate this. I saw a Apple Honey Challah in the September issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine. Seems a lot bloggers have already given this recipe a go . I decided to toss my dough into the ring. But rather than stick to Martha's recipe , I added a handful of chopped pecans. The recipe is pretty good. Just note if you are not experienced with bread making this is a wet dough. The recipe doesn't explain that. I used a bit more flour and my my Kitchen Aid, You don't want a non wet dough, but it should be well kneaded and smooth. A well buttered rising vessel is essential. I used a spring form cake pan as my baking pan. I also noted several bloggers had difficulty in the size of apples. I had dried some apples earlier in the week and used those chopped with chopped fresh. This made it more manageable than slices. The pecans are optional but I think they are fantastic and take the bread to another level. This would be great for coffee or tea and even french toast.

Pecan Apple Honey Challah adapted from Martha Stewart's Apple Honey Challah Living September 2009
4 oz. (1stick) unsalted butter , plus more for bowl
3 ½ C. unbleached bread flour, plus more for surface
3/4 C. warm water
2/3 C. honey
2 large eggs, plus 3 large egg yolks
2 t. active dry yeast
2 t. coarse or sea salt
1 ½ apples peeled and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Butter a large bowl, and melt 4 T. butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; let cool. Combine 2 T. melted butter, the flour, water, 1/3 C. honey, the eggs and yolks, yeast, and salt in a large bowl or stand mixer. Mix until dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth or use dough hook and stand mixer, about 10 minutes. The dough will be wet but should be smooth . Transfer dough to buttered bowl, and brush with 1 T. melted butter. Cover with plastic. Let rise in a warm place until dough almost doubles in volume, about 1 ½ hours. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Pat into an 8 1/2-by-14-inch rectangle. Top with apples and pecans ; knead to incorporate. Return to bowl. Brush with remaining T. melted butter; cover. Let rise again in a warm place until dough almost doubles in volume, about 1 hour more.4. Preheat oven to 375°, with rack in lowest position. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan (I used a spring form pan). Roll dough into a rope (about 24 inches) on a floured surface. Coil into a circle, and transfer to pan. Butter plastic wrap, and cover dough. Let rise again until dough almost doubles in volume, about 45 minutes more.5. Heat remaining 4 T. butter and 1/3 C. honey in a saucepan over medium-low heat until butter melts. Brush dough with half the honey-butter. Bake until golden brown and firm, about 35 minutes.6. Brush challah with the remaining honey-butter. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Turn out loaf from pan, and let cool.Makes one 9-inch round loaf.

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Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Beautiful bread my friend! Love the use of dry and fresh apples!

catalinakolker said...

Wow, I baked the same challah following martha's recipe. tasty, wasn't it ?

RJ Flamingo said...

That looks and sounds so good! I wouldn't schmear it with Mom's chopped liver, but I can think of so many different ways to enjoy this. Like tearing off a chunk and munching away, for one!:-)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Challah is such a wonderful bread! yours looks really delicious!



Megan said...

I'm seriously thinking about making another loaf. It was that good! I'm glad you enjoyed yours too. :)

maybelle's mom said...

making challah is something i have always wanted to do. this one looks delicious.

Bellini Valli said...

I can imagine the aromas coming from your kitchen.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

The recipe is interesting, because it's similar to my basic challah recipe but mine uses 5 1/2 cups of flour, same number of eggs and same amount of butter, so that might explain the stickiness.

It looks like a great twist on the traditional turban challah for Rosh Hashanah, though, which usually has raisins.

The Caked Crusader said...

How interesting! I've never seen anything but plain challah.
Great recipe!

Lori Lynn said...

I was just thinking about my Rosh Hashana menu. It will definitely include apples and honey, last year I paired them with fresh sole...That is a tasty looking challah Courtney!

Bren said...

absolutely stunning looking bread! love it. I observe Sabbath, too but never had this as part of our observance. I'm not Jewish, but it's good to know. :)

toontz said...

Oh, I just want to flop my head down in the middle of that loaf and start munching! Challah is my favorite bread to make and eat. This version sounds wonderful! I even have dried apples, so have to give it a try.

Half Baked said...

Gorgeous! I adore egg breads. Pecan and apples sound like a terrific addition!

Chou said...

challah makes my heart sing, especially when it becomes french toast a few days later. Thanks for sharing your experiences making this.

Karine said...

This challah looks delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Oh how I love Challah bread.

Your version looks amazing.

pityenlacocina said...

what a wonderful challah, it looks delicious, i have never made one, but after seeing your version i may give it a try,

cheers from london,


Cathy (breadexperience) said...

Yummy! I love challah and this apple honey challah sounds wonderful! I'm glad you shared it on YeastSpotting.

Cathy (breadexperience) said...

I love challah! This one sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing in the BYOB roundup.

Alyssa said...

I followed you here from the BYOB roundup. Thanks for sending this one. We love challah, and it looks very tasty!