Friday, November 14, 2014

Salted Chocolate Challah!

I was just over at my older daughter's house....we were "Christmas chatting", discussing the fun we were going to have making Christmas presents. Last year, we got together and made amazing little jars of cranberry & orange jam. Kate made some beautiful shortbread to go with the jam. This year, I've already come across several different jelly recipes that we're going to consider. And Kate wants the jelly to be accompanied by some crusty fresh bread. Sounds like an excellent plan to her bread-baking mama! 

Today's recipe would make a DELICIOUS and lovely present for anyone on a gift list - and you wouldn't need to make any jam or jelly to go with it! Just include some wonderful, creamy butter. But who needs to wait until Christmas?  I took it in to work, where it received "ooohh's & ahhhh's" from my chief bread critic there. Make someone happy soon - that includes YOU! Bake this bread!

Salted Chocolate Challah

1 tbsp/packet Red Star Platinum Yeast
2/3 Cup warm water
1/3 Cup olive oil
¼ Cup honey
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp. salt
4 Cups all-purpose, unbleached flour

1 Cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 egg, beaten with 2 tsp. water
Coarse sea salt, or other coarse salt

Place yeast in EZ DOH bucket. Add warm water and stir. Let sit for 1-2 minutes to activate. Add 1 cup of flour, then remaining ingredients, except chocolate chips . EZ DOH-it until dough is smooth and elastic, adding additional unbleached flour if necessary. Remove dough from bucket and “smooth”. Spray bucket lightly with cooking spray, replace dough in bucket and cover. Let rise until doubled.

Working on a lightly floured surface, divide the dough in half. Roll one half into a long, thin rectangle and sprinkle with half of the chocolate chips. Roll the dough up tightly , lengthwise. Carefully stretch and roll the rope as far as possible (I try to get them beyond 20”) . Cut the long rope in half. Repeat with second piece of dough. You will have 4 ropes. Before forming the challah, gently stretch and roll each rope out, getting each one as long as possible. They should be of equal lengths. Now take the ropes and form the round challah. (lots of pics are available online – I used creativejewishmom’s instructions ) . Once the challah is formed, place it gently in a round 10” baking pan that has been greased or sprayed with baking spray ,or place it on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. (* see notes) Brush with beaten egg and let rise an hour. Preheat oven to 375. Brush the challah with additional egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake for 35- 40 minutes, until very brown. You may tent it with foil the last 10-15 minutes of baking to prevent over-darkening. Enjoy!!

*Note 1: At this point, I covered my creation with plastic wrap and let it do an overnight rise in the frig. I took it out of the frig 1 hour before baking, brushed it with the beaten egg, let it rise for one hour, brushed it again with the beaten egg and sprinkled with the sea salt.
Note 2: If you are placing your challah on a baking sheet, it may not hold its form quite as nicely as in a pan 

Recipe adapted from purple house café :
Visit for more delicious breads 


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