3/4 cup warm water
1 packet (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 egg yolks
1 tsp salt
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 small pumpkin
1 egg for basting
1. In a large mixing bowl, add the warm water followed by the yeast. Mix. Add the rest of the ingredients except the flour. Mix well, to get rid of any clumps.
2. Add the flour a little bit at a time, mixing to remove clumps. You might need more if the dough is too sticky to knead.
3. Knead 5 mins.
4. Place dough in a clean bowl and cover. Leave bowl in a warm part of the room for 2 hours to rise, until dough is double in size.
5. Divide dough in 3 even parts. Roll each into a rope. Place in a line. Braid starting in the middle.
6. Place braided dough on baking tray. Wrap in a circle and braid two ends together. Don’t worry about braiding it perfectly, just try your best to stick the ends together. Place baby pumpkin in the center of the braid. This not only looks beautiful, but it keeps the challah in a perfect circular shape! Cover with a towel and allow the dough to rise for 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350F/175C.
7. Bake for 35-40 mins. If the top is getting too brown, place a piece of aluminum foil on top.