May 24, 2020

Easy Cinnamon Challah {Recipe}

Easy Cinnamon Challah
Happy Memorial Day weekend! While we take time to remember those who gave their lives by protecting our country, I'm sure everyone will also be finding ways to spend time with family (while social distancing, of course).

Our weekend began with a rainy day, which lends itself well to trying new recipes and baking bread. My mother-in-law shared a recipe with me recently for Cinnamon Challah that she assured me was very easy to make. I must say that within a few hours time, this bread was in my oven baking and looking as beautiful as can be.

Yeast breads can be intimidating, but worth the time to figure out and the result of trial and error is baking bread that is so much better than what you can buy. I've been experimenting with sandwich bread recipes and each one is better than the last. That being said, no one can pass up a slick's of challah, let alone one that has a gooey, cinnamon ribbon throughout.

Finding yeast in the stores right now is a challenge, so I had ordered on-line and ended up with an abundance since the smallest amount I could find was 2 pounds for $10. This was better pricing than what I found elsewhere for a small 4 ounce jar. So, into the fridge or freezer it goes to preserve it while I continue on my quest to learn to bake bread.

Easy Cinnamon Challah Loaf

Easy Cinnamon Challah 
Adapted from unknown source

Ingredients

Dough
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
2/3 cup warm water (warm enough to activate the yeast, around 79 degrees Fahrenheit)
3 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs for dough, additional egg for the egg wash after dough is braided
4 cups flour

Filling
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (traditional white sugar)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey

Directions
Begin by activating the yeast. Ensure the water is around 79 degrees Fahrenheit - too cold and the yeast will not activate, too hot and you will "kill" the yeast. Add yeast and honey and mix with a whisk. Allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes until it is bubbly or foamy, this indicates it is activated.

I used my KitchenAid stand mixer with dough hook, you can also do this in a large bowl and a wooden spoon and knead by hand. My instructions are based on using my machine.

In the mixing bowl add: 3 tablespoons honey, olive oil, salt and eggs. Mix together - may need to do this initially with a whisk to ensure the eggs are fully incorporated.

Using the dough hook attachment, start the mixer on a lower speed and gradually add the 4 cups of flour. It will take a few minutes to form into a ball. It will be somewhat elastic at that point. Allow to continue to mix for another 5 minutes.

Cover the bowl and allow to rise for about 1 hour. If your kitchen is not very warm, you can put it inside your oven with the light on to help with the rise. Just make sure to not turn on the oven!

While the dough is rising, you can mix the filling. Combine the vegetable oil, brown sugar, granulate sugar, cinnamon, salt and honey.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Once the dough has doubled in size, separate into 3 equal parts. Each part should be shaped into a ball, then rolled out into a circle. Divide the filling into 3 equal parts and spread one portion evenly on the first rolled out circle. Carefully, roll the dough up and stretch the dough into a long rope as you roll it up. pinch the ends together to seal. Repeat with each portion of dough.

Take the 3 ropes and braid it. Overlapping as you would to braid hair. Sounds silly, but the method is the same. once it is braided, pinch the ends and tuck them underneath. Place on a parchment covered baking sheet.

Beat the remaining egg and then brush the loaf generously with the egg wash. Bake for 30 minutes, checking around 20 minutes to see if it is browning too quickly. If it is, add a pice of aluminum foil over it to prevent it from browning too much.

Allow to cool before slicing. Enjoy!


Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

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