Welcome to Day #3 of the Third Annual #BrunchWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Shaina from Take A Bite Out Of Boca. We are so excited to have you join us this year! Celebrate Brunch with us this week as we prepare for Mother’s Day. 30 Bloggers from around the country will showcase their best brunch dishes, from cocktails to casseroles, breakfast breads, sandwiches and salads – there is something for everyone! (Link to giveaway and prizes at end of post!)
I have to confess that this challah was starting to look like a big hot chocolate mess. First because I don’t eat chocolate (it gives me headaches) but I sometimes cheat with a chocolate studded cookie, so needless to say, I was excited and scared at the same time. And secondly, the filling was just everywhere…everywhere! I had beautiful meticulous visions of filling my challah strands with small bits of chocolate and walnut. That the filling would seal perfectly and I would make the most beautiful challah braid, so that when you cut into the bread, swirls of chocolate and walnut would emerge. Like a work of art.
Then as I was trying to carefully fill and crimp the seams, the filling was just everywhere! The seam wouldn’t stay closed and I had more chocolate on myself more than on the bread. So you know what I did? I said F-it! Whiped my frustration away and just kneaded the filling INTO the bread! That’s what I did and I stuck to it! Genius right?
But I was still determined to fill my darn strands. I wanted to fill them damnit! And again, my seam wouldn’t close and my visions of another gorgeously braided challah were destroyed. I looked at my “hot-mess” challah and cried a single tear and moved on, because gosh-darnit, this was MY challah and I was going to tell IT what to do. So, I rolled it in a turbon. I present to you, turbon challah.
I have to admit I fell in love with how unperfect my challah looked. My 3 turbons snuck up on each other and stuck together, which I can dig. It’s like a little turbon challah family. Cute right?
Needless to say you won’t dare pass on the this chocolate walnut hot mess turbon challah with your morning cup of coffee. Pacari chocholate and California walnuts were studded throughout with warm flavors of cinnamon and brown sugar. I think I can cheat on this kind of chocolate. (And a HUGE thank you to both Pacari and California walnuts for the fabulous treats to inspire this challah!)
Yields 2 large braided challahs or 1 large braided challah and 3 round challahs
- 4 cups all purpose flour + more for kneading, sifted
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 packet yeast (1/4oz)
- 1 Tb sugar
- 3 Tb honey
- 2 tsp Nielsen-Massey vanilla paste
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable
- 2 eggs + 1 yolk (save white for egg wash), whisked together
- 1 cup Pacari chocolate chips (or your favorite dark or semi-sweet chocolate), finely chopped
- 1 cup California walnuts , roasted and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup brown sugar and
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- First make the filling. In a food processor, add the walnuts and chocolate and pulse together until the nuts and chocolate are fine, but not powdery They should still have some texture to it. Add to a bowl along with the brown sugar and cinnamon and mix together. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 1 cup warm water, yeast and sugar. Mix lightly with a fork to get all the yeast in the water and set aside for about 15 minutes. It should begin to foam up and you should see little bubbles.
- Next, add eggs, oil and honey, vanilla paste and whisk together.
- Using a dough attachment on your mixer, gradually add sifted flour and salt, about 1/2 cup at a time with the mixer on low. Continue to mix until everything is incorporated. The dough should begin to pull away from the bowl and come to 1 large ball of dough.
- Turn the dough onto a very well floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. You can use your finger to see if it's ready. Press your finger in and if the dough bounces back quickly, it's ready.
- In a large bowl, pour a bit of oil in and place your dough ball in the bowl. Turn it around so the entire dough is covered with a thin layer of oil. Cover with a clean towel and place bowl in a warm spot. (for me, it was my oven). Allow to rest and rise for 1 1/2hours until doubled in size.
- When dough is ready, it should have doubled in size. Punch the dough down and knead a bit to soften. Divide dough into 2 balls, this will be your challahs. Cover 1 ball of dough as you work with the other.
- Divide the ball into 3 equal strands and roll each strand into a long snake, about 15 inches long. The use a rolling pin to flatten out the strand about 1-2 inches thick and spread the chocolate and walnut filling within the strand and pinch to seal ends.
- if you had trouble like me, instead of braiding the challah, wrap it in a tight circle so the filling stays enclosed.
- Or, you can ass a few tablespoons of filling to the dough and knead it in a few times so it's worked into the dough, then braid the challah.
- Next, place on cookie sheet and allow to rise for another 30 minutes. The brush challahs with egg wash.
- When ready, place in pre-heated 350 degree F oven and bake for about 30 minute or until the top is golden brown. Check a few minutes before and if the top is cooking too fast, cover with foil.
- When done, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before cutting the bread.
Come see what today’s #BrunchWeek Bloggers are creating!
BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:
60 Minute Cinnamon Rolls from Love and Confections.
Chocolate and Walnut Challah from The Little Ferraro Kitchen.
Braided Ham and Cheddar Bread from Sarcastic Cooking.
Pear Oatmeal Crème Brûlée from The Spiffy Cookie.
Tattie Scones with Cheddar and Chives from The Redhead Baker.
Chocolate Chip Flaxseed Waffles from Hip Foodie Mom.
Chile Relleno Quiche from Cooking in Stilettos.
Double Chocolate Sweet Rolls from It Bakes Me Happy.
Sour Cream Streusel Coffee Cake from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Granola from Baking a Moment.
BrunchWeek Main Dishes:
Harissa Chorizo Hash from greens & chocolate.
Smoked Salmon Canapes with Whipped Chive Cream Cheese from The Suburban Soapbox.
BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:
Kinpura Gobo from Culinary Adventures with Camilla.
Tropical Fruit Salad with Vanilla and Lime from Healthy Delicious.
Beet and Heirloom Carrot Rosti with Creme Fraiche and Caviar from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner.
Carrot Salad from My Catholic Kitchen.
Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Bob’s Red Mill, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, California Walnuts, Dixie Crystals, Grimmway Farms/Cal-Organic/True Juice, KitchenAid, Le Creuset, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Pacari Chocolate, Stonyfield Organic, Vidalia Onions, and Woot Froot for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.