Swirled Cinnamon Challah or Tresse
I thought the would be a fitting time to share this recipe seeing as how Hanukkah is coming up. Although I am not Jewish (even though it does run through my blood) I have had the opportunity to try some of the traditional Hanukkah dishes, and boy are they good!
I have been making Challah, or what we call Tresse for years now. When we lived in Switzerland, I would pick one up every Monday morning and my husband and son would have a slice each morning throughout the week.
My husband has a massive OCD complex. He thinks he can do everything better than I can. In most cases he is right, I must admit. When we were preparing for the birth of my daughter, I decided that I wanted to make all of her blankets. Apparently my stitching was not straight enough, so he took over my entire project in order to finish it “correctly”. Now I know what you are thinking, and I assure you he is the manliness of men.
So when I was assembling the Tresse, I was not braiding it tight enough. So guess who took over….hubby wubby as usual. In 2 minutes he had a perfectly braided loaf. This happens Every. Single. Time. Good thing he is good looking and a great husband 😉
This bread is great eaten with a bit of butter or turned into french toast with leftovers. It also makes a mean bread pudding! Note that although the prep time on this is high, 2/3 of it is rising time!
Swirled Cinnamon Challah or Tresse
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
- 4 large eggs plus 1 egg for basting
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 8 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup raisins plumped in hot water and drained
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- In a large bowl add yeast, 1 tbsp sugar, and 1 ¾ warm water.
- Allow yeast to “bloom”, about 5 minutes.
- Using a whisk or the whisk attachment on your mixer, whisk in oil.
- Add 4 eggs, one at a time.
- Add the remaining sugar and salt and combine.
- In 1 cup increments, add flour.
- After about 4 cups of flour, continue the process by hand, kneading in the remaining 4 cups or using your dough hook on your mixer.
- Once all the flour has been added, continue to knead until dough is smooth.
- Once smooth, lightly grease a large bowl with oil and place bread dough in the bowl.
- Cover with a warm damp cloth and allow to rise in a dark corner for 1 hour.
- When dough has doubled in size, punch dough down and let it rise again for another hour.
- When dough has finished its second rise, place it on a lightly floured surface.
- Melt butter and combine with brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Divide dough into six equal parts. Set aside 3 parts.
- Roll out 3 long strands about 12 inches long and 1 ½ inches wide.
- Using a rolling pin, flatten the strands.
- Brush with cinnamon butter mixture and sprinkle some raisins.
- Fold over one side of the strand, pinch the sides closed and gently reroll to form a strand again.
- Repeat with next two strands.
- Braid the three strands together and place on a cookie sheet.
- Cover with a damp warm towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
- Repeat process to make another loaf with remaining dough.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Make the egg wash by combining the egg and 1 tsp of cold water, mix with fork.
- Baste the loaves with the egg wash.
- Bake the loaves for 30 to 40 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen Perfect Challah
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