Salted Caramel Apple Sourdough Challah
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: a little over 1 lb loaf of challah
 
Add to prep time the time it will take to bring your sourdough starter to life and the time to prepare Maggie Glezer's or your favorite challah recipe, including the first rise.
ingredients:
Salted Caramel Apple Filling
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
  • 3 medium apples, peeled, cored and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
directions:
  1. First make the sourdough challah recipe linked above, or your favorite challah recipe, While dough is rising, make the salted, caramel apples.
  2. In a bowl, Combine the chopped apples with the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, lemon juice and flour. Set aside.
  3. Pour the water around and over the sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves (I prefer this over the brushing the sugar off the sides with a wet pastry brush).
  4. When the sugar dissolves, turn to high heat, and boil uncovered until the sugar turns a medium brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Watch it carefully at the end, as it will go from caramel to burnt very quickly. Stand back to avoid splattering, and gradually add the cream and the butter - it will bubble vigorously. Simmer and stir with a wooden spoon until the sauce is smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. Stir in the sea salt.
  5. Take pot off heat, let sit about 3 minutes, then stir in the chopped, spiced apples while caramel is still very hot. Let cool to room temperature. If not using immediately, refrigerate in an airtight jar or container.
  6. You will not use all of the salted caramel apples for the challah or challahs (if making two), so enjoy it over ice cream, pound cake, as a homemade doughnut filling,, cake filling etc. The ideas are endless! Then again, I just eat it with a spoon. I'm a simple gal. I think.
Fill, Braid, and Bake Challah
  1. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. I used a scale for this. Take one piece (covering the other three pieces with plastic wrap) and roll into a flat, oblong 12-inch disk. Spoon two tablespoons of the salted caramel apple filling down the length of the disk, as shown in photos above.
  2. Cover filling with both sides of dough, pimching to seal and making sure none of the filling gets into your seal..it won't seal if that happens. Gently roll and taper the ends, to about 16 to 18-inches in length. Cover and repeat with remaining three pieces of dough. Once you have all 4 filled strands, pinch them together at the top and braid using this 4-strand weaving method. In a bowl or cup, beat one egg until uniform - this will be your egg wash.
  3. Place loaf on a parchment lined pan and brush with egg wash (I don't use all of the white in the egg. I let some spill out into a cup so my egg wash is more yolk than white - this gives it that nice burnished look)). Brush loaf all over and let rise until doubled in size - about an hour. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  4. Once risen, brush again with remaining egg wash, getting into all the crevices that opened during the rise. Sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds, or nothing at all - your choice. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 35-45 minutes. Let cool a few minutes, then carefully lift off of pan, and place on a wire rack to cool fully.
notes:
* You can use any challah or bread recipe you like. It doesn't have to be sourdough.
Recipe by parsley sage sweet at http://www.parsleysagesweet.com/2011/12/27/salted-caramel-apple-sourdough-challah/