Saturday, October 16, 2010


Apple Challah Picnik-Collage 5 bis
This week I was once again facing another of my famous recipe crisises. I felt inspired, but could not find the bread I wanted to make for Zorra's "World Bread Day" annual event and roundup....

I knew that I wanted to bake something sweet, with apples and with some originality. I didn't want to propose a bread I had already blogged about so that limited my choice. You have to know that, as strange as it might seem, there aren't that many different recipes that combine brioche-type dough and apples. Apart from "Apple Cinnamon Rolls" (not enough apple in them), "Apple Danish Braids" (I had already made that speciality once - with apricots), "Apple Buns" (delicious, but not delicate enough and too rustic, in my opinion) and "Apple Pizzas/Focaccias" (I've already written a lot about fruit-based pizzas or focaccias) there isn't much choice when it comes to associating that fall fruit with bread dough (yes, I know, I am a terribly finicky person).

World Bread Day 2010 (submission date October 16)
It is only after a good hour of roaming through the net and getting slighty overheated (My anger was boiling. I felt like a pressure cooker ready to explode!) by my unsuccessful quest that I finally stumbled upon what I was looking for. I was going to bake a "Harvest Apple Challah". A not overly rich brioche bread that contains enough apples to satisfy my fruit cravings and which has a load of personaliy.

What is ironic about that recipe is that I found it nowhere else than on one of my fav
orite and most regularly visited pages on the net: the King Arthur Flour website. I had to google and surf crazily like a spastic (no harm meant to people suffering fom cerebral palsy) in a frenzy in order to end up finding my recipe on a site I know more than well. I could have saved a lot of time if I knew that at the end I was going to choose a recipe from them!!!

This "Harvest Apple Challah" is very different from the traditional Challahs we all know (plain, braided or coiled and with sesame or poppy seeds). This non-orthodox Challah is prepared like "Monkey Bread", spiced with cardamom, vanilla as well as orange peel puree and stuffed with sweetened cinnamon and rum scented apple chunks. In fact, it is called Challah just because the dough is made exactly like that of this wonderful festive Jewish bread.

The dough is rather painless and straightforward to prepare; nothing very difficult here (Unless you've never made bread that is...). The filling is also easy peasy. The only messy part in this recipe is when you have to cut the big apple-filled dough pillow in 16 pieces and place each of them in the round cake pan. Then, it gets kind of dirty, chaotic and extremely untidy. You'll have apples falling out, slippery wet dough refusing to get tamed, syrup juice oozing out of every opening and you'll think that it all went terribly wrong. But don't stick to that impression. You are actually doing the right thing. Don't panic, breathe deep and forget about the disastrous appearance of your unbaked Challah and your post-atomic bomb looks of your work surface. It will indeed look picture perfect once it comes out of the oven!

The smooth Challah dough contains fragrant honey, spices (my addition), some eggs and sunflower oil (no butter is ever used in this briochy treat). This particular combination confers an incredibly tender, fluffy and delicate texture as well as a divinely aromatic flavor to this bread. For the apple filling (to which I added a little rum), I chose not to use apples that are commonly employed when making desserts or cooking (Golden, Granny Smith, Gala, Jonagold, etc...) as in my opinion they either lack oomph, sharpness or fragrance. I decided upon choosing one of my favorite apples, the Dutch Belle de Boskoop. This large, lumpy, dull reddish green-brown apple might not be as pretty as it's other apple counterparts (I find it beautiful, though) and might look a little rustic as well as not prone to be presented on stalls, but believe me it has one of the most mouthwatering aromas I have ever come upon. And is the best ally when baking as it stands up well to cooking (As you have gathered now, I am a BIG fan of this apple!). Needless to say that the sharp filling was just perfect and contrasted wonderfully with the light sweetness of the bread.

This KAF "Harvest Apple Challah" is just simply to die for so do yourself a favor and BAKE IT without delay!!!!

This bread is getting yeastspotted by Susan’s Yeastspotting!

Apple Challah Picnik-Collage 3 bis
~Harvest Apple Challah ~
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.

Ingredients for the "Dough":

1/2 Cup (4oz) Water, lukewarm

6 Tbs Vegetable oil (sunflower or peanut oil preferred)
1/4 Cup Runny honey

2 Large eggs
4 Cups (17oz) Unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tsp Sea salt
1/2 Tsp Ground cardamom
1 1/2 Tsp Pure vanilla extract
1 Tsp Orange peel puree zest
1 Tbs (7g) Dried/instant yeast

Ingredients for the "Apple Filling":
2 Medium-to-large Apples (not peeled), cored and diced in 3/4" chunks
1 Tsp Ground cinnamon

1/4 Cup (2oz) Light brown sugar
1 Tbs Dark rum (optional)
Ingredients for the "Glaze":
1 Large egg
1 Tbs Water

Pearl sugar (optional)

Method for the "Dough":
1. Combine all of the dough ingredients. Mix and then knead them, using a mixer or by hand (or bread machine), until you have a soft, smooth and elastic dough (about 8-10 minutes).
2. Put the dough in a oiled/buttered bowl and let it rise, covered, for 2 hours or until it's puffy and nearly doubled in size (If you've made the dough in a bread machine, allow it to rise in the machine for an extra hour after the dough cycle is completed.).
3. Lightly grease/butter a 9inch round cake pan that's at least 2inch deep (or grease a 9inch or 10inch springform pan).
Method for the "Apple Filling":
4. Toss the apple chunks with the sugar, cinnamon and rum.

5. Gently deflate the dough, transfer it to a lightly greased work surface, and flatte n it into a rough rectangle, about 8 x 10 inches.
6. Spread half the apple chunks in the center of the dough (see remarks for details).

7. Fold a short edge of the dough over the apple in order to cover it, patting firmly to seal the apples and spread the dough a bit.
8. Spread the remaining apple atop the folded-over dough.
9. Cover the apples with the other side of the dough, again patting firmly (Basically, you've folded the dough like a letter, enclosing the apples inside.).
10. Take a long knife and cut the apple-filled dough into 16 pieces. Cut in half, then each half in halves, etc ... (This will be very, VERY messy; the dough is slippery, apples will fall out, sugar syrup will ooze... it's not pretty. Don't worry, and don't stress about making all the pieces the same size).
11. Lay the dough chunks into the pan (Crowd them so that they all fit in a single tight layer - barely. Lots of apple chunks will fall out during this process; just tuck them in among the dough pieces, or simply spread them on top.).
12. Cover the challah gently with lightly greased plastic wrap or a humid towel and let it rise for about 1 hour, until it's a generous 2inches high (It should just crest the rim of a 9inch round cake pan). Twenty minutes before the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 325° F (170° C).

Apple Challah Picnik-Collage 4 bis
Method for the "Glaze":
13. Whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush the dough with the egg mixture, and sprinkle heavily with the pearl sugar, if desired.
14. Place the bread in the lower third of the oven. Bake it for 55 minutes, or until the top is at least light golden brown all over and has no white spots (Some of the higher-rising pieces will actually char; that's OK.).
15. Remove the challah from the oven, and after 5 minutes loosen the edges and carefully transfer it to a rack.
16. Let cool or serve warm.

I made my challah with Boskoop apples.

Be sure to use good-quality honey and oil in this recipe. Since they play such a major part, they have to taste good.
Use neutral-flavored oil. Canola oil can produce off flavors in baking, so best not to use it here.
If you want to see a picture tutorial of that recipe go over to the KAF site.

Serving suggestions:
Serve the bread warm or at room temperature.
Drizzle with honey just before serving, if desired or serve with honey for dipping.


Apple Challah Picnik-Collage 6 bis
~ Challah Aux Pommes ~
Recette adaptée de King Arthur Flour.

Ingrédients pour la "Pâte":
120ml d'Eau à température ambiante
6 CS (90ml/g) d'Huile végétale (tournesol ou arachide)
90ml/g de Miel liquide
2 Gros oeufs (63g)
510g de Farine blanche/fleur

1 1/2 CC de Sel de mer
1/2 CC de Cardamome en poudre
1 1/2 CC d'Extrait de vanille pure
1 CC de Zeste d'orange en purrée

1 CS (7g/1 sachet) de Levure sèche (en granulés)
Ingrédients pour la garniture aux "Pommes":
2 Moyennes à larges pommes (non pelées), nettoyées et coupées en morceaux de 1cm

1 CC de Cannelle en poudre
60g de Sucre brun clair
1 CS de Rhum foncé (en option)
Ingrédients pour le "Glaçage":

1 Gros oeuf
1 CS d'eau
Sucre perlé (en option)

Méthode pour la "Pâte"
1. Mettre tous les ingrédients pour la pâte dans un bol. Mélanger et pétrir (pendant environ 8-10 minutes) à la main ou avec un robot (ou bien avec votre MAP), jusqu'à obtention d'une pâte douce et élastique.
2. Mettre la pâte dans un bol huilé, la couvrir avec un linge ou du film plastique et laisser lever pendant 2 heures ou jusqu'à ce qu'elle ait presque doublé de volume (Si vous avez préparé cette pâte dans votre MAP, alors laissez-la lever une heure supplémentaire après que le cycle se soit terminé.).
3. Légèrement beurrer/huiler un moule à cake de 23cm et de 6cm de haut (ou un moule à charnière de 23cm).
Méthode pour la garniture aux "Pommes":
4. Mélanger les pommes avec le sucre, la cannelle et le rhum.
5. Faire dégonfler la pâte, la transférer sur un plan de travail légèrement huilé et l'applatir afin d'obtenir un rectangle approximatif de 20 x 25cm.
6. Mettre la moitié des pommes au centre de la pâte (sur la largeur - voir remarques pour la méthode illustrée).
7. Replier le côté plus étroit sur le pommes pour les recouvrir et bien applatir afin de bien répartir les pommes.
8. Répartir les pommes sur le partie repliée.
9. Couvrir les pommes avec l'autre bord et applatir à nouveau (En fait, vous aurez replié la pâte telle une lettre, en renfermant les pommes à l'intérieur).
10. A l'aide d'un couteau, couper ce "chausson" en 16 morceaux. Cou
per en deux, puis encore en deux, etc... (Cette étape est très salissante; la pâte est glissante, les pommes s'échappent de leur enveloppe et du jus coule... C'est pas beau, mais pas de panique, c'est normal. Il n'y a pas besoin non plus que les morceaux soient égaux.).
11. Placer les morceaux dans le moule (Faire une seule couche et bien les coller ensemble/serrer. Certains morceaux de pomme tomberont durant cette étape; il suffira juste de les coller/presser sur le dessous du pain.).
12. Couvrir votre challah avec du film plastique huilé ou un linge humide et la faire lever pendant environ 1 heure, jusqu'à ce qu'elle ait atteint une hauteur de 5-6cm (La pâte devrait juste dépasser le bord du moule.). Vingt minutes avant la fin du temps de levée, préchauffer le four à 170° C.

Apple Challah Picnik-Collage 1 bis
Méthode pour le "Glaçage":
13. Battre ensemble l'oeuf et la cuillère à soupe d'eau. Badigeonner la pâte avec ce mélange et saupoudrer généreusement avec le sucre perlé.
14. Mettre le pain dans le tiers inférieur du four et le cuire pendant 55 minutes, ou jusqu'à ce que le dessus soit doré (Certaines parties plus élevées seront peut être caramélisées; c'est OK.).
15. Sortir la Challah du four. Après 5 minutes dégager les bords et la sortir du moule afin qu'elle refroidisse sur une grille.
6. Laisser la Challah refroidir complètement ou la manger encore chaude.

J'ai utilisé des pommes boskoop.

Choisir un miel et de l'huile de bonne qualité pour cette recette car la saveur en dépend grandement.
Utiliser de l'huile au goût neutre. L'huile de colza peut donner un mauvais petit arrière-goût à votre Challah, alors c'est préférable de ne pas en utiliser pour cette recette.

Sur le site KAF vous trouverez la recette en photos. Cela vous aidera à comprendre comment replier la pâte afin de créer un "chausson" (étapes 6 à 9).

Idées de présentation:
Servir ce pain chaud ou à température ambiante.
Arroser avec du miel liquide ou tremper votre tranche de brioche dans du miel.

Apple Challah Picnik-Collage 2 bis


  1. Rosa I am stunned at the perfection of your Challah and I absolutely love the apples and flavorings! This is gorgeous and mouthwatering and will certainly sate my apple craving. A fantastic creation!

  2. That's one gorgeous bread, love the pearl sugar sprinkles :)

  3. I went to wiki up the apple for I have not come across such an apple before. Your apple looks nicer than the one shown in wikipedia.

    Anyway, i came to your blog at the wrong time. It's late and I had an early dinner today. So reading this post offsets my cravings for bread.

    I really love bread. I love it since I was tiny. My mom told me that when i was a toddler, one way to stop me from being annoying was to put a slice of bread in my hands. i would just munch away...

  4. Wowow looks so perfect and delcious.
    I love the combination with apple and cardamom than the classoc cinnamon, I shoudl try this combination.

  5. Wow,wow et wow!! De toute beauté ma belle Rosa !!

    Bo week~end à toi xx

  6. Très intéressant ce dessert aux pommes. j'adore !

  7. Ça ressemble à un pur bonheur! Rien de moins!

  8. Your harvest challah looks beautiful...and I can just picture you making it by your discription...hehehe...just thinking about the apples slipping out! Growing up in Michigan where apples are big, there were so many varieties that you would believe! It's fun to discover new ones.

    I would love a bite of this right noe though!

  9. I think I need to spend more time on the King Arthur Flour website! Your bread looks delicious.

  10. Rosa this llok absolutely BELLE and amazing pictures (like always) x gloria

  11. Such a wonderful brioche using seasonal fruit. It almost feel like dessert, and I love dessert :)

    Creative photo using colorful apple and black !

  12. That looks so bright and beautiful like a sun shine.

  13. This sounds and looks so, so yummy!

  14. I have been Challah bread crazy lately and this will be perfect to add to my craze. Thank you.

  15. salut Rosa j'adore ce genre de gateau-pain !!Tu me donnes faim !pierre

  16. wonderful pics, great recepies and amazing blog! good jon!
    have a look at

  17. absolutely beaufituf! It`s something for me :)

    have a nice time, Rosa!

  18. Rosa, this is absolutely gorgeous!!

  19. I love the look of this bread! Such a great way to use apples, and something I haven't seen before. Yum!

  20. These kinds of breads blow me away and unfortunately, I can't stop eating them. still, as we need more fat reserves for winter ;-) Wonderful job and lovely photos. Your bread is amazing and the kitchen must have been filled with the most delicious aroma.

  21. oh la la, ça a l'air terriblement bon!!!

  22. Rosa, you have totally outdone yourself. This looks INCREDIBLE! I am MAKING THIS for sunday lunch. Yummy yum yum! Sooooo GOOD!

  23. Rosa--the apple challach looks beautiful--you have taken challah to a height in baking!!Ca me plait beaucoup!!
    Bon Weekend!

  24. Wow yum! What a sensational cake. I love the apple-rum combo you got going. Hurray for bread!

  25. Tu as fais un miracle Rosa ! Me faire m'interesser à la pâtisserie ! Merci ! oserais-je le tenter ???? beau dimanche !

  26. Terriblement gourmand.Et il faut dire que tu as l'art de le mettre en avant.

  27. What a great idea to combine the challah with apples...looks scrumptious Rosa!

  28. Challah is one of my favorite breads. Adding apple to it makes me all giddy inside! Looks delicious. :)

  29. This looks like a little slice of heaven. I can only imagine how amazing it must have smelled in your home while it was baking.

  30. I love baking with apples in the autumn. I just bought a whole boatload of them at the market today and look forward to the many ways I can use them up. This looks delicious, Rosa.

  31. This challah looks delicious Rosa. Great job. I love the photos. Each one makes me want to take a bite right now!:)

  32. This looks So amazing, Rosa. The apples is an interesting twist. Thanks for sharing.

  33. Perfect looking bread, looks beautiful...

  34. i can smell the flavors of your fantastic challah,i'm so impressed of this gorgeous creation!

  35. Encore une fois, ta participation au WBD est épatante. Tu colles parfaitement à la saison avec ce pain. Excellente idée avec les pommes.

  36. Rosa je crois que si j'avais la Chance d'être ta voisine, je me ferai inviter le plus souvent possible hihihi ;)
    Grosses Bizzz et Bon Dimanche !

  37. How fabulous, Rosa! I am drooling just looking at your photos. I really don't make yeast bread enough...guess it's because my family is grown and out of the house. You're giving me incentive to
    start again!

  38. This bread is gorgeous Rosa and so seasonal with the apples.Excellent chocie for raising awareness for such an event.

  39. Il faut absoluement que je prépare ce pain, il a l'air trop bon! C'est vrai qu'il doit faire un déjeuner extra bon!

  40. Ciao Rosa ! I think your apple wonderful bread is something one should be able to eat from the monitor !! Life is unfaire !

  41. Ouh là là il est 16H30 et j'ai faim! Vite je pars de chez toi c'est trop horrible!! ^^

  42. wow, i love that! fits perfectly to an afternoon coffee in autumn.

  43. Rosa, it looks absolutely beautiful!

  44. What a gorgeous bread that is, although it looks remarkably like a beautiful apple pie... Would love to have a taste!

  45. ROsa, your challah is abosolutely gorgeous! my kind of pudding, you nailed it! Bravo!

  46. If that's not the greatest looking bread ever, I don't know what is. Seriously a work of art, and probably even more delicious!



  47. Great and lovely event post.
    Such a lovely combination of flavours, outstanding work ♥

  48. What a beautiful bread, Rosa! It's the perfect use for apples!

  49. Wow !!! Utter perfection !!

  50. What a beautiful looking challah! It sounds wonderful. I have been wanting to try and make a brioche type of bread. Thanks for the excellent instruction. Maybe, I will get the courage to try:)

  51. Absolutely stunning! I am so pleased that you found your inspiration for these glorious bread...I could have this at every meal, truely lovely :)

  52. Really beautiful. I've made apple challah before, but hadn't considered adding rum or icing. Thanks for the tips.

  53. Un pain avec des pommes, il doit être super délicieux!!!

    Bonne soirée chère Rosa:)

  54. Your Harvest Apple Challah looks simply divine! So beautiful. I feel all sunny inside from reading this.
    Heidi xo

  55. Wow, That's one gorgeous looking Challah!

  56. Challah is so irresistible already but with apples this sounds just heavenly.

  57. Rosa, I've been working on recreating apple bread i ate once a long time ago. I think your recipe might bring me closer to the goal. SO THANKFUL!

  58. Rosa, you are becoming such an expert on bread. I've never heard of apple bread before but I am sure I would love it.

  59. Ta challah est juste sublime. J'ai bien envie de m'y coller...

  60. this is different from and far better than any challah i've ever seen--ewll done!

  61. Belle recette et sublimes photos comme à ton habitude ! Je ne me lasse pas de parcourir ton blog ... :-)
    Bises et bonne journée

  62. Elle est superbe cette spécialitée aux pommes!
    Ce doit etre très bon!!

  63. This looks freaking delicious!

  64. I love the light and airy textures of challahs & bricohes!

  65. so happy I'm leaving on the other side of the city Rosa ..... you wouldn't have time to take 1 single picture of this terribly good looking bread !!!
    A bientot !

  66. This challah is such an inspiration. Love how you think outside the box girl. The circle shape is fun too. Amazing how sometimes our greatest frustrations yield the best results! xo

  67. Wow, gorgeous looking bread! Great for fall!

  68. Come sempre una buona ricetta spiegata benissimo, grazie ciao

  69. Mais c'est magnifique ce que tu as fait pour cet évènement. Et d'excellentes photos en plus.

  70. Rosa - this bread looks like perfection!

  71. This has to be the prettiest challah ever. Love the apples and cardamom in it, too. You've outdone yourself with this one! ;)

  72. That's a great looking bread, Rosa! Love the brilliant idea!

  73. gorgeous challah. i don't think i've ever heard of pearl sugar before, but it really completes it. it looks delicious.

  74. wow! thanks for the tip on the right type of apples; hope i can find these apples belles de boskoop; I will enquire and see, maybe it is what we are already growing here and in the US maybe the farmers market carries them; now your challah looks and sounds terrific!

  75. though i'm off bread for a month, i want some of this now and have the perfect flour to use to make a delish version! lovely pics as always!

  76. Your challah is perfect Rosa! I love the addition of apple :)

  77. hi rosa, you never fail to impressed. this is just gorgeous:) thank you for sharing this.

  78. ooh that looks so beautiful and fluffy and delicious I might add! I'm glad you mentioned King Arthur site, I haven't visited it in a long time!

  79. Ma première phrase: "Humm c'est trop bonnn" !! :)
    Tes photos me donne très envie..
    Bonne soirée

  80. Wow seems to be the word repeated over and over in the comments on this sweet bread and I will have to reiterate: WOW! This looks amazing ... I would eat an entire loaf if it were in front of me.

  81. Well Rosa...being terribly 'finicky' obviously suits you because it always inspires you to reach newer and more creative heights! Well done ;o)

    Have a great week and flavourful wishes,

  82. Oh goodness, I would really like a slice of this with some tea.

  83. Your apple challah looks wonderful! If I could have a slice of this and a cup of coffee in the morning, I'll be so happy! :)

  84. STUNNING bread, Rosa! I just love the things you create and the pictures you take to document them. :-) You have a truly beautiful life. :-)

  85. This is a very good looking bread - anything with apple and glazed is excellent in my book. ;)



  86. I just found yor blog thrgh Gera at Sweet Foods.

    This is one of the most beautiful breads I have ever seen. I am now following you.

  87. This sounds so delicious, I love apple in cakes and cardamom and cinnamon is just so perfect in this!

  88. This is the perfect bread for fall!

  89. I must bake this.... looks so yummy.... love the pearl sugar!!

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  90. Superbe! Absolument superbe :)

  91. never encountered a more pretty looking challah bread. Orange zest and all the spices makes me want to grab it right away. looks like another recipe bookmarked :-) I have baked a challah and if I make, it better be this way.

  92. WOW - this could not look more delicious. A picture perfect fall dessert.

  93. I'm drooling! This Challah looks so gorgeous! And I love all your pictures, especially the ones of Salève. Merci pour ta participation au World Bread Day.

  94. jamais un challah n'a été aussi gourmand! bravoooooo Rosa!

  95. Qu'elle est belle! tes recipe crises se terminent toujours plutot bien.

  96. This looks wonderful, I love sweet dough.

  97. what a gorgeous bread! love this ! beautiful photographs =)