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Apple Butter and Date Challah

A round loaf of challah, filled with apple butter and dates
Prep Time4 hrs
Cook Time40 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup water 110F
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil plus more for oiling the bowl
  • 1 cup apple butter
  • 25-30 medjool dates

Instructions

  • Place 4 cups of all-purpose flour in the bowl of a stand mixer (you can also mix this by hand, but using a mixer is admittedly easier). Stir in the yeast and salt.
  • Stir the warm water and honey together so that the honey dissolves.
  • Add the honey water, three beaten eggs, and oil to the flour and mix to combine in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Once the ingredients are integrated, switch to the kneading hook and begin to knead (you can also do this by hand on a board).
  • Work the dough for 5 to 7 minutes, adding more flour to the dough as you work, if it’s too sticky. Eventually, the dough should come together into a soft, slightly tacky, smooth ball.
  • Grease a large bowl with a drizzle of oil and place the dough ball in the bowl. Move it around until the dough is fully coated with the oil. Cover with a plastic bag or a damp kitchen towel and tuck it some place warm for a couple hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Once the dough has risen sufficiently, gently deflate it. Divide the dough into four equal portions and roll one into an elongated rectangle on an unfloured board or countertop.
  • Spread the rectangle of dough with 1/4 cup apple butter, leaving a thin bare margin of dough along one of the long ends, to ensure that you can pinch the roll closed. Dot the dough with bits of the dates.
  • Carefully roll the rectangle of dough up so that you're left with a long snake of dough. Pinch the dough closed to keep the apple butter and dates contained.
  • Repeat with the remaining portions of dough.
  • Using the instructions in this blog post, weave the four pieces of dough into a round loaf.
  • Place the formed loaf on a parchment-lined baking sheet and paint with beaten egg. Let the loaf rise for about an hour, until the loaf looks plump and filled out. Paint with another layer of the beaten egg.
  • Bake the challah for 40 to 45 minutes. It is done when it is deeply browned and sounds hollow when you tap the bottom. If you have an instant read thermometer, the interior of the loaf should register at least 190°F.
  • Let the loaf cool completely before slicing.