Good morning and a very happy week to you! Did you enjoy your weekend? I did; the weather was beautiful, sunny and 71, no humidity, just perfect. I did a little gardening, cooking and lots of reading. Although to be honest, I am awaiting the days for warmer water and time out on my board.
I have always been a fan of yeast breads, and recipes because they remind me of my grandmother and my childhood. Yeast has not however been a fan of me. Frequently I end up with flat, hard breads and pastries. Lately though I have tried a few new things and I am having a little more success.
Last week I made this Cinnamon-Walnut Stuffed Challah bread, minus the walnuts and it turned out perfect, not to mention fabulous! The only thing I did that I do not normally do is use yeast in a jar instead of from a package and to proof the dough, I turned the oven on to 350 for 1 minute and then turned it off. This seemed to make all the difference in the rise of the bread.
Cinnamon-Walnut Stuffed Challah Bread
Recipe from Completely Delicious
1/2 cup hot milk
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 envelope(21/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
2 large eggs
1/2 cup un-salted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups chopped walnuts(I omitted these)
Combine the milk, honey, and butter n a small saucepan set over medium heat. Warm until butter is just melted. Remove from heat and let she mixture cool for 5 minutes, or until it is between 120-130 degrees F.
In the bowl of a stand miser fitted with a dough hook, combine 2 cups flour salt, cinnamon and yeast. Then add the milk mixture and mix until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time and make sure to incorporate each one before adding the other.
Add the remaining flour one tablespoon at a time being sure to incorporate it fully into the mixture. When all of the flour has been added, the dough will be very soft, but clear the sides of the bowl. If you need to add a little more flour. Then knead the dough for an additional 5 minutes.
Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover with plastic. Place in an area that is warm and free from drafts, for about an hour or until doubled in size. Once risen, carefully punch down the dough and knead for a few minutes by hand.
To assemble the Challah:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and walnuts(if using). Mix until smooth.
Divide the dough into 2 or 3 pieces. Working with each piece separately, roll until 12 x 6 inches rectangle, then spread a generous amount of the filling onto the dough. Starting at the long end roll the dough like a cinnamon roll. Once finished, place onto a pan lined with a Silphat or a parchment. Repeat with the remaining 1 or two pieces. Once finished braid the pieces together and then tuck the ends under. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let reuse for 30-45 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat oven to 350. Then make an egg wash with 1 egg and 1 tsp water. Brush mixture onto loaf. Bake until golden, about 30-45 minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes.