Thursday, November 10, 2016

Apple Challah Coffee Cake!

My brother and I agreed that this week brought "the end of an era" for us. We grew up in a wonderfully picturesque 1960's neighborhood......a dead-end street lined with homes full of middle-class families. Most of the mothers were home through the day to tend to houses and children. The multitude of kids spent our days zooming up and down the street together on bicycles or visiting at each others' homes. Every kid had their "favorite parent" on the block, and mine was Mrs. Weyman. Dark haired with beautiful, smiling eyes, Lois was a teacher.....not only by her college degree, but by the type of life she lived. She had a hearty, loving laugh and always sincerely listened, even if it was just a 10-year-old speaking to her. Because she was fun to be with, most of us took her up on her invitation to drive us to Sunday School on Sunday mornings. There, she was also the instructor .....who pointed us to the Ultimate Instructor. As we aged, many of us continued our friendship with Lois - her great love for us had made us love her all the more as we grew older. This week, at a vibrant 89, Lois passed away unexpectedly, surrounded by her grateful, loving children. 

I stopped over to see her youngest daughter after I had read the news in the paper. Whenever I'd visit Lois, I always took bread for her and the family. This time, there was no Lois, but in her memory  I took Kathy this tasty coffee cake, which she and her girls enjoyed as we shared memories of her dear mom. It was a special time.....celebrating a very, very special lady! 

Celebrate LIFE this week!! Making this delicious coffee cake could certainly be a great part of that celebration! 

Apple Challah Coffee Cake!

1 ½ Tbsp/packets Red Star Platinum yeast
½ Cup warm water
3 ½-4 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ Cup honey
7 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. orange zest
1 ½ tsp. vanilla

2 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into a small dice
¼ Cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. rum

Confectioner’s glaze  or
Apple Cider glaze:
2-3 Tbsp. apple juice or cider
1 Cup powdered sugar

Place warm water and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 1 minute. Add one cup of flour, then additional dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, adding additional flour as necessary if dough is too sticky , or until dough is smooth and soft and all ingredients are incorporated. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” dough and replace in bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled. (This is a very rich dough and will take longer to rise than most EZ DOH recipes- be patient, because it’s worth the wait! ) 

Remove dough from bucket and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll into an approximately 14” x 10” rectangle. Combine the dry filling ingredients in a small bowl, then add the apple pieces and the rum. Mix thoroughly. Spread ½ of the apple mixture down the “short” center of the rectangle. Fold one side of the dough over the filling and seal. Top with remaining filling , then fold the other short end of the dough over that filling (envelope-style). Seal. Spray a 9” or 10” baking pan (should have 2” sides, or use a springform pan) with cooking spray. Now cut the “envelope” of dough into 16 pieces (slice it in half, then cut each half in half until you have 16 equal-sized pieces. Lay the pieces in the pan, crowding them together in one layer. Take any apple pieces that have escaped and tuck them in this gooey mess! Cover and let rise until the dough has reached the top of the pan. Preheat the oven to 325 and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until quite dark on top and the bread sounds hollow. Loosen edges and remove from pan to cool on a wire rack. When cool, drizzle with the glaze ENJOY!! 


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