Apple and Honey Challah

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Tomorrow I will celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, with family and friends. It is traditional to eat lots of honey and apples during this high holy day to usher in the new year with sweetness. The challah dough from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is made with honey, then I fold chopped apples into the dough and braid it into a circle. You can do any shape you like, but the circle is meant to symbolize the full cycle of the coming year. This bread may be ubiquitous at the high holy days, but it is wonderful anytime, especially during apple picking season here in the Midwest. 

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I used a local Jonagold apple, but any of your favorite apples will work.

Apple and Honey Challah:

1 1/2 pounds challah dough (you can use the recipe from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day or Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day)

1 large (or two small) apples, peeled, cored and diced

Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water)

Sugar for sprinkling over the top of loaf

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Pull out a piece of refrigerated challah dough and roll it out to 1/2-inch thick.

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Spread the apples over the dough.

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Fold the dough in half.

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Then fold it over again.

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Form the dough into a ball. Don’t be concerned when the apples poke through the dough.

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Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces with a Dough Scraper. If you prefer other shapes, here are some posts on regular challah braids, 6 strand braid and unbraided round challah.

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Shape the pieces into ropes. Be careful when shaping, the apples want to fall out.

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To braid the 4 pieces, start by overlapping them like this.

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cross the pieces at the top and then do the same around the loaf…

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until all the pieces are crossed and then tuck the ends under the loaf. Place the loaf on a sheet of parchment paper on a Baking Sheet. Cover loosely with plastic and allow to rest for 60 minutes.

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Preheat oven to 375°F. When ready to bake, Pastry Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

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Bake for about 35 minutes or until deep caramel brown.

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Remove from baking sheet to cool before serving.

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Shanah Tovah! (have a good new year!)

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27 thoughts on “Apple and Honey Challah

  1. Just wanted to thank you for the precise way you describe everything in your most recent Artisan Bread book. I was very glad you encouraged checking the oven temperature, as I was very surprised that ours was 50 degrees colder than indicated. Our first loaf is cooling now!
    Thank you

  2. I have a question about the freezer storage life of parbaked bread. (I’m using the Kindle edition of The New Artisan Bread…, location 808.) What is the recommended maximum freezer storage of the parbaked bread? Would it be the same as for the freezer life of unbaked dough, presented earlier in the chapter (location 768)?

    I’m looking forward to trying my first batch, and I love the flexibility of the approach presented in the book. Thank you.

  3. Thank you for all of your great post to this blog. I have all of your books except the gluten free book. They are all great.

    Just got back from the orchard with some fresh apple cider. I am planning on making the apple and honey challah bread, but would like to use apple cider for part of the liquid. I was wondering what I would have to change if I use apple cider in the challah bread?

    • Hi Henry,

      It will be wonderful. You can substitute all of the water for apple cider or just part of it. The dough will ferment very quickly with all of that sugar added, so the dough will likely only last about 4 or 5 days.

      Thanks, Zoë

      • Thanks for the quick reply. I thought it would work but thought I would ask. I will mix a batch right after the football game! Go Pack!!!

      • It turned out great! I posted pictures to my Facebook account and shared the link to this web page with the pictures.

  4. I made challah bread from your book but it came out too salty. I used 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Is that how much salt is really needed?

    • Yes, it’s correct (for four loaves). But you can always adjust downward to your taste. 2 teaspoons and see what you think? I will grant you–that Zoe and I like these breads on the salty side, but that’s entirely a matter of taste.

  5. Could I do this version in the crockpot? I just tried the cinnamon swirl brioche (but I used challah dough) and it turned out great! We’re having a heat wave right now so I’d love to try this one in the crock pot too, but I’m wondering if the apples would cook through.

  6. I love the look of the round braided loaf and I want to try it! But I just finished a batch of challah dough which yielded a braided loaf, an onion pletzle and a batch of pecan rolls, all magnificent! Has anyone attempted the braided round with boule dough?

    • Hi Randi,

      You can certainly do it with the master recipe, but the crust and crumb will be much different than the challah. The crust will be crisper and the interior crumb won’t be as light. Have you made a boule? It will be just like that, but a different shape.

      Thanks, Zoë

      • Zoe,
        I made a beautiful wheat stalk shape from my boule dough, and an round braided apple challah. It’s not easy to get four strands large enough to braid from a one pound hunk, but it was beautiful and the apples add incredible flavor. I brought the challah to my office pot luck, and several colleagues want to order the book. Is the regular challah recipe in the second edition? I have the original.
        Thank you so much for so many wonderful recipes and the technique!

      • Hi Randi,

        That is so wonderful, I am thrilled you are playing with all the different shapes and flavors.

        The challah is in the New Artisan Bread book.

        Enjoy! Zoë

  7. I was thinking of subbing out apple cider for the water in the water in the challah recipe. If I put the dough up today or tomorrow (Thursday or Friday) and bake it off on Sunday, would the cider react appreciably differently than would water? I’m planning on using fresh cider from the farmers’ market.

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