This recipe comes from Marcy Goldman’s “A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking” , a wonderful cookbook full of lovely ideas for festival and Shabbat celebrations (see a post from foodwriter Deb Perelman for a version of Marcy’s Passover recipe she calls “My Trademark, Most Requested, Absolutely Magnificent Caramel Matzah Crunch” ). Apple Hallah is one of at least seven recipes for hallot in her book.
The apple hallah went down very well at our recent Honey Cake tasting morning, and no one complained it wasn’t actually a honey cake!
Makes two loaves.
1 cup of warm water
½ cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of dry yeast
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 ½ teaspoons of salt
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
5-6 cups of strong white flour
3 medium sized apples (red apples add a nice colour to the bread)
½ cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon of sugar
To make the dough:
In a large mixing bowl, briskly whisk together the water, a pinch of the sugar and the yeast. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to swell. Briskly stir in the remaining sugar and the oil, eggs, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Add most of the flour to form a soft but elastic bread dough. Add the remaining flour and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. You can do this in an electric mixer with a dough attachment.
Shape the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly greased bowl, place the bowl in a plastic bag – I use a big bin liner – and seal loosely. Let the dough rise until doubled (45 to 60 minutes). Alternatively, put the covered bowl in the fridge and let rise slowly overnight.
There is no need to peel the apples. Chop them coarsely. Put them in a bowl and toss with the sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon.
Whisk together the egg and sugar.
(If you have left the dough to rise in the fridge, take it out and let it come back to room temperature before proceeding).
Oil two 2lb loaf tins (or a round 10 inch springform pan).
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat it into a large round. Press in half the chopped apples. Fold the edges of the dough over the apples. Flatten again. Then press the remaining apples into the dough. Again, bring the edges of the dough over the apples, pressing in any that may pop out. You want to try and incorporate the apples evenly throughout the dough.
Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Then using a sharp knife, cut into randomly shaped chunks – about 16 pieces. Lay the pieces of dough into the loaf tins, layering them up gently (they will expand and fuse during baking).
Brush on the egg wash to all exposed dough. Put the tins into the bin bag, seal loosely, and let the dough rise again until it is puffy and almost doubled (45-90 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 1800C.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until brown (cover with foil part way through if getting brown too quickly). Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out to cool on a wire rack.
- If you are fitting this into a busy day, and the dough has risen (first rising) but you’re not ready to get on with the next stage, simply “punch” down, by pressing your fingers into the dough to deflate, and let it rise again.
- Before putting in the oven, you could sprinkle with granulated or demerara sugar for an extra crunch; or could drizzle with some icing after it has baked and cooled.