Honey Apple Challah
Welcome the New Year with honey apple challah: a moist and egg-y yeast bread infused with sweet honey, subtly cinnamon spiced, and studded throughout with tart, juicy apples. Perfect for Rosh Hashanah, or any other day of the year!
Good morning! I hope you had a fun and relaxing holiday weekend. This past Sunday marked twelve years (!) of marriage for me and my Mr. We celebrated with a fabulous meal at one of our favorite restaurants, and a mini-wine tour.
We visited two local vineyards and it was so much fun to taste all the different wines and meet the growers. As we were tasting, I couldn’t help but look forward to the holidays. We will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner once again this year, and as we were choosing our wines, I wondered what would taste best with all those warm holiday flavors.
But before we can start on Thanksgiving, we’ve got Rosh Hashanah to think about!
My in-laws are Jewish, and every year there is a big family get-together to celebrate the high holidays and the start of the New Year. We enjoy all the traditional foods, but the best thing on the holiday table is always the challah.
Have you ever had challah before? It’s a moist, egg-y bread that’s slightly sweet and comfortingly soft. It reminds me a lot of brioche, only it’s usually in the shape of a braid. I just adore it.
Rosh Hashana is traditionally associated with apples and honey, because they symbolize our wish for a year filled with sweet blessings. Many times, sliced apples are served, to be dipped into bowls of honey. I’ve always thought it would be so nice to incorporate those flavors right into the holiday bread.
My favorite thing about this loaf is how well-balanced the flavors are. The cinnamon is subtle, and the sweetness of the honey doesn’t overpower the savory, yeast-iness of the bread. The apples give a little bite here and there, with a slight tartness that’s so perfect for this time of year.
My kids and I love to eat thick slices of this bread, warmed slightly and slathered with butter, for breakfast or as a snack. But my hubby loves to make French toast out of it. I think it would be great as a bread pudding too. That is, if there are any leftovers!
I created this recipe for KitchenAid’s Apple Challenge! They’re partnering with Food Network and Geoffrey Zakarian, and you can get involved too! Create an original recipe using apple as the key ingredient, for a chance to win a cooking lesson with chef Zakarian and the new suite of KitchenAid appliances! Just share an image of your recipe using the hashtag #KitchenAidContest on Instagram or Twitter. Click here to learn more!
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Honey Apple Challah
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast, (about half a packet)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons oil, (such as canola, vegetable, or grapeseed)
- 1 granny smith apple,, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/8-inch dice
- egg wash, (1 egg beaten with a teaspoon of water)
- Combine the water and honey in a liquid measuring cup, and sprinkle the yeast over the surface.
- Set aside and allow to proof (become foamy) for 5-10 minutes.
- Place the flour, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl, and whisk to combine.
- Make a well in the center, and pour in the yeast mixture.
- Add the egg, yolk, oil, and apple, and stir, working the flour into the liquids a little at a time, until all the ingredients have incorporated and the dough forms a ball that pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl. (If the apples are juicy and the dough seems sticky, add a little more flour.)
- Dust the work surface with flour, and knead the dough for 10-15 minutes.
- Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough and knead for 5 minutes more.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, and roll each into a rope about 18 inches long.
- Pinch all 4 ropes together at one end. Starting with the left-most rope, weave it over the adjacent rope, under the next, and over the last. Repeat, to form the braid, until you have reached the end.
- Pinch the braid together at the bottom end.
- Brush with egg wash, and allow to rise for one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Brush the challah once more with egg wash, and bake for 30 minutes.
Hi! Can you take out the apples from this for a standard challah? Would you still use the honey then or replace with sugar?
Thanks so much from Johannesburg South Africa
Yes that should work just fine! If I were making it that way, I probably would not decrease the honey at all but I do like a sweeter-tasting challah. If you don’t prefer yours that way, then you could probably decrease that amount a bit. Good luck and I hope you enjoy!
Btw love the combo of honey and apple! This time I did it with raisins and cranberries but will definitely try putting apple in in the future!
Hi Allie! can I ask u for tips on this recipe? When I did this bread it came out kind of dry, do u know the reason for this? When the mixing the dough tgt it was quite dry so I added a bit more water. However it came out dry in the end. Isit because it was overbaked? Or is there another reason for it in terms of recipe or just bread in general
It could have been overbaked or perhaps the humidity was low on the day you made it? Your instincts are good though- it was smart of you to add more water. Making bread is not usually an exact science. You really have to observe and make a lot of judgment calls. You could also up the oil a little, bearing in mind that while this will create a more moist bread, it can also inhibit the rise a little. Hopefully this is useful info and you’ll have better luck on your next try.
Happy anniversary! Wow, years fly by don’t they? Here’s to a fantastic year ahead!
This challah is so beautiful … my goodness. That crust and egg wash and HONEY APPLE COMBO. That combination gets me. This gets me in all the fall feels! Pinning!
Yay! So glad you enjoyed the post! Thanks so much for pinning and for the great comment, Mary Frances 🙂
What a beautiful bread Allie! I have never tried challah, nor my family. But tomorrow’s menu will include challah! And………..Happy Anniversary! May you be blessed with 50+ more years!!!
Aw, thank you so much Heather! I really hope you and your family enjoy the challah. It is one of my favorite breads for sure! Thanks so much for reading, and for the sweet comment!
Happy anniversary!!! And this challah …. it is beautiful! And it sounds amazing with the apple and honey!
Thank you Ashley! We loved it so much. Have a great weekend dear!
It sounds like you guys had a romantic anniversary. I’m kind of jealous of your mini wine tour. This bread is absolutely stunning. I love Challah; not only because it’s delicious, but the name itself: Challah, holla!
Challah atcha girl! Right? I know I’m such a cornball. Thank you so much Jennie! We had a great time. We don’t get out without the kiddos too often, but when we do, we do it up right 😉 Have a great weekend sweetie and thanks so much for reading! xo