Here’s the video (full instructions below):
INGREDIENTS (1 challah)
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 1/4 tsp. dry active yeast
- 2 eggs + 1 for basting
- 1/3 cup white sugar + 1 tsp.
- 1 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 drop of sesame oil (a “smidge”, to be technical)
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour + 1/4 more for dusting
- 1 large granny smith apple, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. raw sugar for topping
1. Add the warm water, yeast and 1 tsp. of sugar to a large mixing bowl. Stir briefly until yeast is dissolved. Wait 10 minutes until the mixture has a foamy layer on top.
2. Add the eggs, 1/3 cup of sugar, salt, canola oil, and sesame oil. Mix well. You can’t clearly taste the sesame oil in the challah, but it adds a hidden delicious flavor.
3. Add the flour gradually while mixing until a dough forms. When the dough is too dense to mix with a spoon, use your hands. After all the flour is mixed in, knead the dough for 10 mins. Use the 1/4 cup flour to dust the dough while kneading. It should be a bit wet and sticky. Don’t over-flour it. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Place in a warm area in your kitchen. Let rise for at least 1 hour or until double in size.
4. After the dough has doubled in size, knock it down with your hands to release the air bubbles. Time for the second rise. Let rise for 1 more hour.
5. Preheat oven to 350F/175C. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle until dough is a 1/4 inch thick. If the dough is too tough to work with, let it rest for 10 minutes then try again. The length of the rectangle should be slightly more than the width. You can trim off extra dough to make it a rectangle. Place a line of apple slices 1/3 of the way from the bottom of the rectangle (see picture below). There should be enough space below the apples to fold the dough over them. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. of sugar and 1/3 tsp. cinnamon over the apples. Fold the dough over and repeat two more times. There may only be enough space for 2 rows of apples, and that’s okay. If there is any extra dough at the top, fold it over the rest of the roll.
6. Cut the roll into 8 sections. Place each section in a greased bundt pan with the sides facing up & down (see below). Place an apple slice between each section. Baste with egg and sprinkle with raw sugar. Rest 45 mins then bake for 30-35 minutes on middle oven rack, or until top is golden to your liking. If you have a thermometer, the challah is ready when the inside hits 185°F/85°C.