On Wednesday night, Jews around the world will begin celebrating the Jewish High Holidays. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are a time for reflection. Observant Jews take time to think about the events of the past year and assess the quality of their day-to-day behavior.
Jewish families and friends come together to share festive meals and quality time. Every family follows their own traditions. For the next few days, I will be cooking and baking my family’s favorite recipes.
At the top of the list is an apple filled egg challah. Decades ago, I purchased Judy Zeidler’s cookbook, The Gourmet Jewish Cook (William Morrow and Company, Inc.,1988). I have linked to a more recent version.
Once again, I am sharing this awesome recipe. Like most bread baking experiences, it is time consuming. Braiding a dough that is stuffed with an apple mixture requires a bit more patience. The end result is well worth the effort and the start of a new family tradition.
Apple Filled Challah for Rosh Hashanah
Ingredients for dough: 1 pkg of active dry yeast, 1/2 c sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 c warm water, 4 to 5 c flour, 6 egg yolks, 1/4 c veg oil, 4 tbs butter or margarine, 1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tsp water, and cinnamon sugar.
Ingredients for apple filling: 3 apples, peeled, cored and diced, juice of 1 lemon, 2 tbs honey, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
Apple Filling: combine the ingredients. Cover and chill. Drain extra liquid. (If you don’t drain it, the inside will be very gooey.)
In a bowl, blend together the yeast, sugar, salt, warm water, and 2 c flour. (I proof the yeast by letting it get puffy with the warm water and sugar) Blend in the egg yolks and oil. Add the remaining flour, 1 c at a time. Blend until it is thick enough to work by hand. Knead 5-10 minutes. Put dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise until double in size.
Punch down and divide dough into 3 parts. Roll each part into a rectangle. Brush with melted butter or margarine and spread 1/3 of the apple filling onto each rectangle. Roll each rectangle into a long rope. Seal the ends together. (This can be tricky. If not properly sealed, the braids will open when they rise or bake. Braid the three ropes. Place on an oiled cookie sheet.Let rise until double in size. (I divide the dough into 6 parts and make two smaller loafs)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the top of the braided loaf with egg yolk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. (I stir in a bit of honey with the yolk and eliminate the cinnamon sugar) Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
I wish all of my Jewish readers L’shanah tovah tikatev v’taihatem (May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year).
Do you have a favorite challah recipe? Share the recipe on this site and be eligible to win a copy of May This Be the Best Year of Your Life. Anyone who shares a recipe or leaves a comment about Judy Zeidler’s recipe will be included in the random drawing. Participants must live in the US.
Sandra Bornstein is the author of MAY THIS BE THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE. It is available on Amazon. Sandra’s memoir highlights her living and teaching adventure in Bangalore, India. She is a licensed Colorado teacher who has taught K-12 students in the United States and abroad as well as college level courses. Sandra is married and has four adult sons. The memoir was a finalist in the Travel category for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the 2013 International Book Awards, the 2013 National Indie Book Excellence Awards, the 2013 USA Best Book Awards, and received an Honorable Mention award in the Multicultural Non-Fiction category for the 2013 Global ebook Awards