I am currently visiting my former host family in New Jersey and during my year as their Au Pair I got to know and love Jewish food. So today I invested some time and when they come home I’ll surprise them with homemade Cinnamon Challah!
I love baking, but I usually have trouble with yeast dough – although it rises just fine it just won’t have that fluffy quality that I want. This recipe, however, turned out really good and I am going to keep it as base for other variations of Challah and pastries in general.
3 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp yeast
3 tbsp honey
2/3 cup luke warm water
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 dash of salt
1/3 cup canola oil
eggwash: 1 egg, some water, a dash of vanilla extract if you like
Place the flour on your counter or in a big bowl and create a hole in the middle of the pile, so that it looks like an empty volcano. Now fill the hole with the eggs, olive oil, salt, yeast, honey and some of the water. First mix the „inner“ ingredients with a fork and then start adding flour from the sides. Add the rest of the water as needed. Knead the dough really well (at least seven minutes), otherwise it will break and lose its pattern while baking. If you notice that your dough isn’t elastic enough add some water carefully, usually are one or two teaspoon sufficient. Let it rest under a dish towel for about an hour until it’s well risen.
Mix the cinnamon, sugar, salt and oil in a bowl. Part the dough into three equal parts, roll them out and spread the mixture on them. Roll them up tightly, so that you have three strings that should have aproximately the same length. Braid the strings into a loaf and let it rise again for another 30 minutes. Brush its surface with eggwash and bake for about 30 minutes at 375°F.
You can also find the video on the facebook page of „Jewlish“.
My Challah got a little bit burned on the bottom, because the cinnamon mixture leaked out. Otherwise, it’s utterly delicious and definitely worth the time making it. :)