Cranberry Challah

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I saw fresh cranberries at the grocery store this week, I clear sign of the Thanksgiving season, and I could not resist bring a bag home.  Usually I go right for the cranberry quick-bead recipe when it comes to baking with fresh cranberries, but this year I decided to go down a different path, and bake a yeasted cranberry bread.  Challah is one of my favorite enriched breads to bake, so… cranberry challah? Why not?

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Recipe makes two loaves.

Ingredients:

  • 6 – 7 cups Flour
  • 4 tsp Dry Active Yeast
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 4 Eggs + 1 Egg
  • 1 1/4 cup warm Water
  • 1/2 Canola Oil
  • 2 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • the zest from 1 Lemon
  • 1 cup fresh Cranberries
  • 1 tsp Honey

Directions:

  1. Mix together 2 cups of flour, the yeast, sugar, salt, and lemon zest.
  2. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and pour your warm water, 4 eggs, and oil into it.
  3. Beat all of the ingredients together into the base sponge.
  4. Continue to mix as you add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough archives a fairly solid consistency.
  5. Knead the cranberries into the dough.
  6. Knead the dough for about 4 minutes, until it becomes bouncy and elastic.
  7. Place your dough in a greased container and allow it to rise for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
  8. Once the dough has risen, gently punch it down and divide it into two.
  9. Hand roll each half of dough into a long log, and then form them into knots.
  10. Place the knots of dough onto two greased or lined baking sheets.
  11. Allow the dough to rise for 30 – 40 minutes.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350 F (~177 C).
  13. Beat together an egg wash using an egg and a tsp of honey.
  14. Brush your bread with the wash.
  15. Bake your bread for about an hour.

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