It’s time again for Tasty Tuesday. On Tuesdays I typically share a recipe, a cooking tip, or some combination of both. You can always find all the Tasty Tuesday posts by clicking on the words “Tasty Tuesday” in the menu bar above or in the list of categories on the right.
As I’ve mentioned before, September is Apple Month around here. So far, I’ve made two types of apple cake: New Apple Cake and Grandma’s Apple Cake. Today I have a recipe for Apple Challah. Challah, if you aren’t familiar with it, is a slightly sweet egg bread. Well, maybe it would have made sense to share the regular Challah recipe first, before getting to this twist on it. Um, oooops! I promise, I’ll get to that sometime soon.
OK, I know that some of you are afraid of using yeast. But really, this is not a difficult recipe. I use my Kitchen-Aid mixer, and I usually don’t even do any kneading. Of course, if you don’t have a dough hook, you can definitely make this with regular kneading. And the end result? Definitely worth it!
1 cup warm water (110-115°F)
½ cup sugar
½ cup oil or melted butter
2 tsps. vanilla
2½ tsps. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsps. yeast
5 cups flour, or a little more
3 cups coarsely chopped apples
½ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 beaten egg
1 tsp. sugar
In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, sugar, oil or melted butter, eggs, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. If you use melted butter, be certain that it’s not too hot, around 110-115°F. Stir in a cup or two of the flour, then add the yeast. Mix together for 3 minutes.
Add in the rest of the flour (to equal about 5 cups). Mix the dough together, adding additional flour if necessary. Then, if you are using the dough hook, let it run for about 5 minutes. If you prefer to knead by hand, I would say it takes about 10 minutes. Either way, you want to knead it until you have a smooth dough.
Shape the dough into a ball, cover it with a damp tea towel, and let it rise in a warm place until it is nearly doubled in size. This will take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1¼ hours, depending on how warm your house is. (The warmer your house, the faster your dough will rise.)
I am often asked: how big should my apple chunks be? Well, I think this is an instance when a picture is worth a thousand words. I use chunks about this size — but I think you could use smaller chunks if you wanted.
When the dough has nearly doubled, roll it out on a lightly-floured surface into a large round shape. Spread the apple mixture over the middle of the circle.
Fold the edges of the dough over the apples until it’s a big lump with the apples inside. Let this lump rest for 5 minutes.
Grease a 10-inch springform pan. Put the pan on a cookie sheet, which will catch any leaks.
Now get ready for the messy part. Using a sharp knife, cut off pieces of the dough and place them in the springform pan. The apple pieces should be randomly dispersed throughout the dough. It’s best not to have too many pieces of apple touching the bottom of the pan, but it’s OK if some of them do. If some pieces of apple escape during this process, don’t worry. Just sprinkle them over the dough.
Combine the egg and the sugar, and then dab the mixture over the top of the dough with a pastry brush. Since this one will rise to the height of the pan, I don’t use a tea towel. Instead, loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in a warm location to rise. You want it to rise to about the top of the pan. This will take about 30-45 minutes, but again it will depend on how warm your house is.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the plastic wrap and place the pan & cookie sheet in the middle of the oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until done. It seems that the edges start to brown before the middle is finished, so I make a hole in a piece of tin foil and place it over the pan after about 35 minutes.
When it’s cooked through, remove it from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Open the springform and turn it out onto a cooling rack.