x You're probably wondering what my obsession is with making challah, to be honest i'm even questioning it myself. Maybe it's because I am striving for perfection when it comes to my dough! Good thing I have every shabbat for trial & error, making sure to try each and every recipe I have heard and seen. For this weeks challah, I happened to use my usual dough recipe, but made it just a tadddd bit sweeter ;) I absolutely fell in love with this almond and vanilla challah, it had the perfect balance of flavors, with none overbearing its tastiness! Scroll down for this delicious recipe!
240ml (1 cup) whole milk
50g (scant ¼ cup) butter
1 vanilla pod/2 tbsp vanilla extract
500g (4 + scant ¼ cups) strong white bread flour
50g (1/4 cup) sugar
1 tsp salt
10g (3 tsp) fast action yeast
1 egg, beaten
2 medium egg whites
200g (7oz) marzipan
50g (scant ¼ cup) softened butter
2 tbsp sugar
50g (2 oz) ground almonds
1 egg yolk beaten with a little milk
handful flaked almonds
Place the milk, butter and vanilla in a pan and heat until just boiling. Remove from the heat and leave to cool until lukewarm
Place the flour in a large bowl (the bowl of your stand mixer if you have one) and add the yeast to one side and the sugar and salt to the other. Add the egg and the lukewarm milk (scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod if using, then remove the pod) and mix it all together until it forms a sticky dough.
Knead either with the mixer or by hand on an un-floured surface until the dough is smooth and stretchy. If you are kneading by hand it will be quite sticky to start with, but after a few minutes of kneading it will become smooth.
Place in a clean lightly oiled bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm. At this point you can either let it rise for an hour or so at room temperature until doubled in size, or place the dough in the fridge to rise overnight.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Place the egg whites in a food processor and pulse until they are frothy. Crumble in the marzipan and continue to pulse until smooth. Add the butter, sugar and ground almonds and pulse again until combined.
Line the base of a deep, 23cm/9in round, removable base cake tin with greaseproof paper.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into an 36x46cm/18x14in rectangle. Spread the filling all over the dough leaving an inch gap around the edges.
Braid your dough with however many braids you would like (I stick to 3)
Cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and set aside to rise for an hour or so until risen and puffy.
Heat the oven to 200C/400F
Brush the risen dough with the beaten egg yolk and scatter over the flaked almonds. Bake for 50-60 minutes, covering with tin foil once the top is brown.
Eat & Enjoy! You can save some for breakfast to have dipped in your morning coffee like I did :P