Celebrations of the Jewish New Year have begun, and we are starting ours the bakers way- with a sweet apple and cinnamon filled challah recipe!
The time surrounding Rosh Hashanah is filled with excitement, preparation, and SO.MUCH.FOOD. With a holiday that lasts three days, encompasses the weekend and four different meals, we are up to our heads in menus and meats(someone send me child care pls!….and an extra freezer).
Traditionally, the first holiday meal starts off with a sweet challah that gets drizzled with honey and passed around, before moving on to the “simanim” and the main courses.
There are so many recipes out there for challah, including sweet challahs, apple challahs, round challahs, and the fan-favourite Half Hour Honey Olive Oil Challah I shared last year(my go-to during the year!). I was looking for something different this time around. We will be home for the holidays and I have so much cooking to do I just can’t spend all day on the bread, you know what I’m saying? While bread is literally my weakest spot, I am constantly looking for time-improvements and ways to get what I want faster- without giving up on flavour, texture, or taste.
What’s special about this challah?
This cinnamon and apple stuffed challah is absolutely stunning, with the shape of an apple strudel. It’s fluffy and delicious, while being so short on time.
This is One Hour Challah.
Start to finish, this challah will take one hour from the time you pour in the yeast to the incredible, pull-it-out-of-the-oven moment. If you’re busy with things, if you want to whip this up during the year to enjoy as a special treat, or if you’re simply craving homemade bread, you don’t have to give up your whole day to get it.
How is it possible?
There is extra yeast in the dough. This is what gets us a faster rise.
Egg and Honey. A little bit of honey in the mix as well, gives an extra sweetness but more importantly, a softer texture and a dough that STAYS SOFT. The honey gives the bread a longer shelf life, and it won’t dry out so quick! Similarly, the egg adds moisture.
Cinnamon Apple Stuffing
These beautiful loaves are stuffed with the perfect mix of apples, cinnamon, brown sugar and nutmeg. It’s so good, but it couldn’t be easier!
+Make sure you dice the apples really small– we aren’t cooking them beforehand and the challah is a quick riser in the oven, so they won’t be baked for much time. If the chunks are bigger, they will simply be more crunchy and not soften up as much.
+Brown sugar gives this filling a toffee-tinged flavour, so no subs! Some of the filling will leak out of the dough as well, and these escaped bits crisp up the bottom of the dough making each bite the perfect combo of fluff-and-crunch.
How to braid the strudel shape of this Cinnamon Apple Challah:
Once the dough has risen(for only 20 minutes!), cut it in half. Roll it out into a rectangle, with the long side closest to you. Don’t make it too thin, you still want to be able to pick the braided loaf up without it tearing(which it shouldn’t do!).
Place the apple filling along the centre of the dough, and grab a sharp knife. Angling downward, like in the photo, slice finger-length slices along both lengths of the dough. Stop the cut a bit short of the filling, so there’s still a tray on the bottom for the apples to sit. The shape will look a bit like a large leaf!
Now beginning on the left side, alternate crossing pieces of dough, making sure to overlap them. One from the left side, one from the right, all the way to the end. When you get to the end, cut off any extra dough, press the edges together, and tuck the ends in. For a full video, you can check out my highlights on Instagram.
Repeat with the second half of dough, and transfer the braids to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The two logs will fit on one sheet, just give them space in the centre- they should not be touching! Now, let the dough rest for another 10 minutes.
After ten minutes, brush the loaves with egg wash and sprinkle over the sweet crumb topping.
and, voila! Look at that beauty!
I hope you guys love this One-Hour Cinnamon Apple and Sweet Crumb Challah…I know you will! Tag your photos, join the clan on Instagram, and always feel free to shoot me a hello and ask all your questions! Happy New Year!
One Hour Cinnamon Apple and Sweet Crumb Challah
One Hour Challah Dough
- 1 Tbs instant yeast
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tbs honey
- 1/3 cup + 1 Tbs Canola oil
- 1 medium egg
- 4 cups flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
Cinnamon Apple Filling
- 2 cups apples(Granny Smith is best), peeled and diced into small cubes.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 1/2 Tbs oil(I use canola)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1 medium egg
- 1 tsp Water
- 6 TBS flour
- 2 TBS White sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 28 gram vegan butter/margarine
One Hour Challah Dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add 1 Tbs of yeast, a sprinkle of sugar, and warm water. Let it sit for 5 minutes, until frothy and bubbly. Add the rest of the sugar, honey, oil, egg, salt, and 2 cups of flour. Mix until a wet mixture forms. Switch to the dough hook. Add the last 2 cups of flour, and mix until the flour is incorporated. With the mixer on medium/high speed, mix for 4 minutes. The dough should be smooth.
- Cover the mixing bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the filling and sweet crumb topping.
Cinnamon Apple Filling
- Add the diced apples to a bowl with brown sugar oil, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Toss to coat the apples. If the filling is liquid-y, you can add 1-2 tsp of flour to thicken it up. Set aside.
- Add flour, sugar, and salt to a bowl. Cut in cubes of margarine or vegan butter. Crumble the mixture between your fingers until coarse crumbs form. Set aside.
Shape and Bake
- Once the dough has risen, divide it into two and place one on your work surface(leave the second covered in the bowl). Roll it out into a rectangle with the long side closest to you. Add the filling to the centre of the rectangle. Starting on the left side, take a knife and make finger-length slices slanting a little on the diagonal all along the edge of the dough. Cut only until a half-inch away from the filling. Repeat on the other side. Fold the two first slices over each other, and take the second left slice and lay it over the filling. Now do the same with the right slice of dough, overlapping them in the centre. Continue until the end. Slice off any extra dough, press the top and bottom pieces together so they hold together while baking, and gently tuck the ends under. Repeat with the second half of dough.
- Brush the challah with egg wash, and sprinkle over the sweet crumbs, pressing the crumbs lightly to the sides so they stick. Let the braided challah sit for ten minutes. Preheat oven to 392 F / 200 C. Bake the challahs for 25 minutes. They will be golden when fully baked. Depending on your oven, you may need to leave them in for an extra 5 minutes. Slice and enjoy warm!!