Harvest Apple Challah Bread (Day 2)

Does your bread look nice and puffy yet?  Ready for the next step?

First, take out your dough from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.  Or if you left your bread on the counter for a few hours, you’re ready for the next step.

See how when I push my finger into the dough, it leaves a permanent indentation, that means it has risen fully.

Grease a 9″ round cake pan that’s at least 2″ deep.  You’re going to want those 2 inches when it’s baking.  Also (on a totally different note), I can never remember whether ‘ or ” is inches.  Who came up with this system because it makes no sense.  I got to use my delightful silicon, flexible pans.

Chop up the apples into bite-size pieces.  Toss the apple chunks with cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.  I got help from my friend Caroline in chopping up the apples.

Remove your dough from the bowl, and transfer it to a lightly greased or lightly floured work surface.  Gently deflate the dough.  Flatten the dough into a rough rectangle, about 8 inches by  10 inches (notice I didn’t use “).

I had two batches of dough, so I first divided mine in two.  Put half of the apple mixture into the center of the dough.

Fold 1/3 of the dough over the apples.Put the rest of the apples on top of the apple mound you have. Yes, the apples will want to defy you and go every which way, be in charge. Tell them who’s boss.  

Fold the other third of dough over top.

You now have a little package of deliciousness.

Now comes the fun part.  Cut your blob of dough and apples down the middle (hotdog style, did you learn that in elementary school ,too? hotdog and hamburger folds, well if you didn’t you must have gone to some crazy school). Here’s a picture if you have no idea what I’m talking about, and think I’m slightly crazy.  Makes me think of surgery.

Keep making cuts, the other way so you get squares of dough.  Cut it in half, then cut those pieces in half.

Keep cutting until you have 16 separate pieces.  Put these pieces into your prepared pan.

You will have to squeeze the pieces together to get them all to fit.  Things will fall out, fingers will get messy, apples will be flying all over the place.  Work with it. Just put the pieces back together.

Now we wait.  Let the dough rise covered  until it crests over the pan for about 1 hour.

See that beautiful dough rise.  Now you’re ready for the oven. Preheat the oven to 325˚F.

Want that nice golden color on the top of your bread?  The key to that is an egg wash.  Mix together an egg and 1 tablespoon of water.  

Brush your bread with these tasty looking mixture.

Bake in the lower third of the oven (this is so the dough cooks nicely without burning) for 55 minutes until the entire top of the dough is lightly brown.  This is so the inside gets cooked too.

Now, enjoy!  Eat it warm with a tall glass of apple cider.


Recipe: Harvest Apple Challah





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