Maple Peanut Butter Challah
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This nice twist to a favorite classic is sure to add extra sweetness to Jewish New Year holiday celebrations!
Prep time: 2 hours and 30 minutes (30 minutes active; 2 hours inactive for rising)
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total time: 3 hours and 5 minutes
Yield: makes 1 loaf
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup Mighty Maple peanut butter
2 large eggs + 1 egg for the egg wash
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 1/2 to 6 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1. In a large bowl, combine the yeast, teaspoon of sugar, and cup of lukewarm water. Let sit for 5 minutes until it starts to foam.
2. Transfer to the base of your mixer with the dough hook attached and add the maple syrup, Mighty Maple peanut butter, and 2 large eggs. Whisk together until completely smooth, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the salt and the flour, one cup at a time, until it starts to come together and pull away from the sides. You may not need all the flour.
4. Let the dough hook knead the dough for about 5 minutes or until smooth, elastic, and not too sticky to the touch.
5. Turn out the dough onto a flour-dusted surface and roll into a smooth ball. Grease a large, clean bowl with the oil and place the ball of dough in it, turning once to coat on all sides. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave in a warm spot to rise for about one hour or until doubled in size. Use your fingers to gently poke the air out of the dough, roll back into a ball, grease, cover and let rise again for 30-45 minutes.
6. Once the dough has finished the second rise, roll out onto a floured surface and gently knead into a smooth ball.
To shape and braid:
7. Cut the dough into six equal size balls and roll each ball into a snake about 10-12 inches long. Arrange the six dough snakes next to each other vertically, and pinch all of them together at the top. To braid, start from the right and go over two, under one, and over two. Tuck in closer and repeat again with the right-most piece of dough repeating until the entire loaf is braided. Set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let rise a final time for 30 minutes. (For a helpful tutorial on how to braid a 6-strand challah, check out this short video I made demonstrating the process: http://www.youtube.com/nandita2483#p/u/1/BfpKn3AfnF8)
8. When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375°F. Beat the last egg and use a pastry brush to lightly brush over the loaf. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is glossy and golden brown. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.
9. Store wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days. Stale challah can be used for bread pudding or to make incredible French toast. Can also be sliced, wrapped in plastic and frozen for up to 6 months. (Simply let come back to room temperature or toast before serving.)