Almond Challah

Posted by Lindsey On 3:05 PM

I made this for my husband because he loves challah and is always asking me to try to make it. I am so glad that I did because this recipe turned out fantastic. This would be perfect to make french toast with, which I believe we will end up doing. I got it out this amazing cookbook, The Gelfilte Variations, which a cookbook with 200 inspired re-creations of classics from the Jewish kitchen. There are so many recipes that I cannot wait to try from this book, so keep a look out for them!

Almond Challah
from The Gelfilte Variations

by Jayne Cohen
This recipe makes a three quarter loaf-1 medium challah

Scant 1/2 cup blanched almonds
6 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup whole milk, warmed to 100 to 110 degrees F, plus a few additional drops as needed
1 1/2 (3/8 oz total) active dry yeast
3 large egg yolks
3 3/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
Unsalted butter or oil for greasing the bowl.

For the topping:

1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon milk, for glaze
About 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, or 3-4 tablespoons chopped almonds

In an 7 cup food processor, process the almonds with the sugar and salt until finely ground Pour the warmed 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 butter, pouring it very slowly toward the end, until most of the dough forms a ball around the blade, If necessary, add a few drops of 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, 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 into 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, 1-1 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Glaze the dough ll over with the egg wash. Sprinkle generously all over with chopped almonds or sesame seeds. Bake 35 minutes until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a rack and let cool.

8 Response to "Almond Challah"

  1. Stephanie Said,

    I need that cookbook! Thanks for the recommendation.


  2. Cara Said,

    Glad you liked the book! I will be sure to take down this recipe :)


  3. Michelle Said,

    I've always wanted to make challah bread. yummy!

    Over from SITS.


  4. I LOVE challah! I actually have another great recipe on my blog, as well as some great add-in ideas.

    Stopping by from SITS


  5. Hillary Said,

    Love the almond topping! Looks great. I also wrote a great post how to make challah. Hope you like it!


  6. MarathonVal Said,

    That bread is gorgeous... would you believe I don't think I've ever had challah bread before?!?!

    Also, I'm having a giveaway of my own if you are interested - a year's subscription to Vegetarian Times mag!


  7. Gauree Said,

    That looks delicious...


  8. Winnish Said,

    Hi Lindsey
    I bake challah every Friday, and this recipe is great!
    My family just loved it.
    My suggestion is not to add the salt as you did because salt "kills" the yeast. It's better to add it last, after the dough is almost ready

    I will definitely make this recipe again.
    Thank you