Breakfast Challah

As I type this recipe, the delicious and familiar smells of roasted garlic, sautéed onions, and baked apples waft through my childhood home. Usually I relish these smells of my mother cooking, but as I sit at my childhood desk today on Yom Kippur I am starving. At home, I help with pastry, but Mom is the Chef. My contributions this our Break Fast dinner were a marzipan challah, petits fours, a key lime pie, and this savory Breakfast for Break Fast challah. Woven, of course! 

RECIPE

Ingredients 

Challah (inspired by The Challah Blog):

  • 1 1/4 cup very warm water
  • 1 tbsp active dry or instant yeast
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg for wash
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 6 cup bread flour
  • 2 teaspoon salt

Recommended Filling:

  • 1 stick cream cheese
  • Handful of chives
  • Salt
  • Everything bagel spices (1 T white sesame seeds, 1 T dried onion, 2 t poppy seeds, 1/2 t onion powder, 1/4 t garlic powder) 

Directions:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast with the water. Add in the honey slowly. Mix gently.
  • Let the mixture sit until it has developed eruptions and smells like beer.
  • Mix in 3 eggs and canola oil.
  • If you have a stand mixer, use it to mix in the flour.
  • Mix in the salt.
  • The dough should stick together as a ball. 
    • If the dough isn't sticky enough, add a bit of water. 
    • If the dough is too sticky, add a bit of flour. 
  • Punch ("knead") the dough a few times. 
  • Place dough ball in an oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap; allow to sit for at least 1.5 hours. 
  • Prepare your filling: chop the chives, mix with cream cheese, and season. 
  • Punch out the air bubbles. 
  • Separate the ball into 4 equal-sized pieces. 
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece into a flat triangle, square, whatever. Maximize surface area but don't make each piece too thin; 1/2 inch is a good thickness.
  • Spoon the cream cheese mixture evenly over the dough, avoiding the edges. 
  • Roll up each piece into a log ("strand"). Pinch the edges so that no precious filling is lost.
  • Make sure each strand is at least 10 inches. (You can stretch it, gently.)
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  • On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, braid the 4 strands. 
  • Allow the dough to rise 20-30 minutes. 
  • Brush the dough with the 4th egg. (I use the yolk and egg white.) 
  • Sprinkle with Everything bagel spices. 
  • Put the challah in the oven for 35 minutes or until the loaf is a perfect golden brown. 
  • Voilà! Enjoy.