Chocolate Chip Challah

cinnamon-challah
Any challah recipe
1 stick ( ½ cup) margarine, melted
¼ cup sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ cup chocolate chips (optional)

After challah has had its first rising, grease 4 – 6 round pans, depending on which recipe you used. Break dough into small pieces and form balls (about the size of a small tangerine). Dip each ball of dough in the melted margarine and then in the cinnamon sugar. Place in pan. Balls of dough should be close to each other but not necessarily touching. When a pan is basically filled, move on to another. The amount of margarine and cinnamon-sugar is enough for approximately one pan and you will need to make more depending on how many challahs you make. If you want to add chocolate chips –for a very sweet new year! – mix them into the dough before forming the balls. Cover and follow your regular instructions for challah baking.

Pumpkin Challah

Pumpkin challah
Makes 4 small loaves or 2 large ones.

Ingredients
4- ½ teaspoons dry yeast
½ cup brown sugar
1-⅓ cups warm water
4 tablespoons canola oil
2-½ cups canned pumpkin
8 cups bread flour
1 egg white combined with 1 tablespoon water

Preparation
Place yeast in a large bowl. Sprinkle sugar on top and pour water over. Allow to proof (5-10 minutes). Whisk in oil and pumpkin. Then stir in flour and knead until smooth, adding more flour if sticky. Oil bowl and roll dough in it to coat. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise for 2 hours. Punch down, shape into loaves and place on greased baking sheets. Cover and allow to rise for another hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush dough with egg wash. Bake for 30 minutes, until challah is golden and loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove to racks to cool.

Almond Challah

Makes 1 loaf may be doubled or tripled

½ cup blanched almonds
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup pareve milk or soy milk, warmed to 100° -110°F
2 envelopes active dry yeast
4 large egg yolks
5 cups bread flour
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted margarine, melted

Topping
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon pareve milk, for glaze
About 2 tablespoons chopped almonds

In an 11 cup food processor, process the almonds with the sugar and salt until finely ground. Pour the warmed pareve milk on top but do not mix. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and allow it to dissolve and proof, 5-10 minutes.

Add the egg yolks and pulse briefly. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, pulsing briefly after each addition. With the machine on, add the melted margarine, pouring it very slowly toward the end, until most of the dough forms a ball around the blade. If necessary, add a few additional drops of pareve milk. Continue processing a few minutes more to knead the dough.

Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl. Cover with greased plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm draft-free place until double in bulk, 3-4 hours.

Punch the dough down and divide it into two pieces, one piece containing about two-thirds of the dough, the other, the remaining one-third. Now divide the larger piece into three, and, using your palms, roll these pieces into three long identical ropes. Braid the ropes. An easy way to do this evenly is to start the braid in the middle, then turn it upside down and braid the other side. Turn the ends under and press down to keep them joined together. Divide the smaller piece of dough in three and braid in the same fashion.

Place the smaller braid on top of the first braid. Transfer to a greased baking sheet, then cover with plastic wrap. Let the loaf rise until double in bulk, 1-1½ hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Glaze the dough all over with egg wash. Sprinkle generously all over with sesame seeds or chopped almonds. Bake 45 minutes or until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a rack and let cool.

Apple Challah

Apple challah

Ingredients

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted margarine
3 ½ cups unbleached bread flour, plus more for surface
¾ cup warm water
2/3 cup honey
2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (from one ¼-ounce envelope)
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 ½ tart green apples, preferably Granny Smith, peeled and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 1 ¾ cups)
More margarine for pan and bowl.

Preparation

1. Spray a large bowl with non stick spray, melt 4 tablespoons margarine in a saucepan over medium-low heat; let cool. Combine 2 tablespoons melted margarine, the flour, water, 1/3 cup honey, the eggs and yolks, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Mix until dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes.

2. Transfer dough to greased bowl, and brush with 1 tablespoon melted margarine. Cover with plastic. Let rise in a warm place until dough almost doubles in volume, about 1 ½ hours.

3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Pat into a 8 ½-by-14-inch rectangle. Top with apples; knead to incorporate. Return to bowl. Brush with remaining tablespoon melted margarine; cover. Let rise again in a warm place until dough almost doubles in volume, about 1 hour more.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Roll dough into a rope (about 24 inches) on a floured surface. Coil into a circle, and transfer to pan. Let rise again until dough almost doubles in volume, about 45 minutes more.

5. Heat remaining 4 tablespoons margarine and 1/3 cup honey in a saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Brush dough with half the honey-margarine. Bake until golden brown and firm, about 35 minutes.

6. Brush challah with the remaining honey-margarine. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Turn out loaf from pan, and let cool.

Onion-Poppy Seed Challah

Onion poppy seed challah
Ingredients
1 package active dry yeast
¼ cup plus a pinch of sugar
1 ¼ cups warm water (110° to 115°F)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
¼ pound unsalted margarine, melted
4 ½ to 5 cups flour

Poppy Seed-Onion Filling
1 ½ cups finely chopped onion
½ cup poppy seeds
½ teaspoon salt
5 ½ tablespoons unsalted margarine, melted
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

Preparation
Dissolve the yeast with a pinch of sugar in ½ cup of the warm water.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend 1 of the eggs, the ¼ cup sugar, salt and margarine and remaining ¾ cup water. Blend in the yeast mixture. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing until the dough comes together. Pour onto a floured board and knead, adding additional flour, a little at a time, until the dough has a smooth and elastic consistency, 5 to 10 minutes.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, oil the top of the dough, cover with a towel, let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough. Divide it in half. Roll each half out to a 20 x 4 inch rectangle. Spread each rectangle with the filling (reserving ¼ cup for the top) to within ½ inch of the edges. Roll each rectangle lengthwise, jelly-roll fashion, to enclose the filling, forming a long rope. Twist the two ropes together. Form dough into a ring. Pinch ends to seal and place on an oiled baking sheet. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Lightly beat the remaining egg and brush it over the challah. Sprinkle the challah with the reserved filling. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the loaf is golden and sounds a hollow when tapped. Transfer to rack to cool.

Chocolate Pinwheel Loaf

Chocolate pinwheel loaf
½ cup nondairy creamer or soy milk
¼ cup margarine
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons yeast
¼ cup warm water
2 eggs, beaten
3 to 3-½ cups flour
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

Combine creamer, margarine and sugar and heat in microwave, making sure margarine melts. Cool to warm but not hot and combine with yeast and water. Let yeast proof – about 10 minutes. Whisk in eggs. Stir in flour and knead, adding flour if necessary until elastic but not sticky. Divide dough in half. Place half in oiled bowl and cover. Knead melted chocolate into remaining half until completely blended. Place in oiled bowl and cover. Let rise about 1 hour.
Punch each dough down and roll into rectangle – approximately 18 x 10 inches. Place chocolate dough on top of plain dough. Roll up jelly-roll style starting at short end. Fold ends under and place, seam side down, in a greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Cover and let rise for another hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

To gild the lily, you can put this glaze on the bread:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons nondairy creamer
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk all ingredients together and drizzle over warm loaf.