Bread and dessert collide in this sweet challah recipe that is just as delicious whether or not you celebrate the Jewish holidays. Sugar and almonds take the place of the more traditional poppy or sesame toppings, and the almond cream filling is a delectable surprise upon first bite. This decadent bread is the perfect addition to breakfast or dessert spreads for the holidays.
7-8 cups Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Sparkling Sugar
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Fine Cane Sugar
1-1/2 cups warm water
4-1/2 tsp. Bob’s Red Mill Active Dry Yeast
1 stick butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds
4-1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour
1 cup cane sugar
4 tsp. almond extract
1 stick butter, softened
3 egg whites
- In large bowl, add warm water and yeast. Set aside 5 minutes while yeast activates. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Once yeast activates, add 7 cups of flour, cane sugar, butter, salt and eggs. Stir by hand for 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and springy. Add more flour, if necessary.
- In lightly greased bowl, pour in dough and let rest, covered, in a warm place for 45 to 60 minutes. Let rise to double original size.
- To make filling, cream butter and sugar. Stir in almond extract and egg whites until thoroughly combined. Mix in almond flour until smooth.
- Place risen dough on floured surface and divide in half. Cover one half and roll the other into a 9”x13” rectangle. Slice dough into 3”x13” sections. Spread each strip with filling, leaving a 1/2” section of the strip clean all the way down the long edge. Roll each strip along short edge to create long tube. Press down dough to seal any openings. Lay tubes next to each other and braid together. Fold ends of braid under loaf. Repeat for other half of dough.
- Place braided loaves on baking sheet, cover, keep warm and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes. During last 5 minutes of rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Brush egg wash over loaves and sprinkle them with sparkling sugar and almonds. Bake 45 to 60 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches approximately 200 degrees F and crust is golden brown. Cool for 30 minutes.