Brown sugar cinnamon swirl challah is a combination of cinnamon bun meets challah.
I just got back from a super fun food conference in Seattle (enter cheesey food nerd here) and even though I am happy to be back to reality, Seattle has become one of my favorite food-loving cities ever! A huge thanks to the Hatch Chile store for sponsoring..a fabulous hatch recipe will be in the very near future!
Before I left I shared this cinnamon swirl challah I made for both my mom's birthday and Rosh Hashanah. My mom lives in Hawaii and she's always asking me to send her baked goods, which I would love to do if the post office wasn't so fickle! We send each other packages of random stuff every few weeks and sometimes the box gets there fine in a few days but sometimes it takes a month! An entire month just to get to Hawaii! Can you imagine baklava or rugelach sitting across the Pacific in a cardboard box for 4 weeks? That would be devastating!
I am happy to announce that mom got her package the other day and before her birthday (which is the 23rd). Yay!
And can I just say how incredibly proud I am of my first round challah? I like to call this "rustic chic". The beginning of the challah started out fine. You take 4 strands and interweave them and then continue to weave them in a circular motion around the bread. I was thinking of doing a step by step for this, but I would be lying to you if I said I knew what I was doing. I had a YouTube video open of the technique while I was braiding and still couldn't get it fully! Next time, I'll just stick with a 4 strand braid. But not too shabby, huh?
Each strand is brushed with melted butter and generously sprinkled with cinnamon and brown sugar. I twisted each strand to create a swirl which made for a gorgeous visual when the bread was cut. As this bread bakes the entire house smells like cinnamon perfection and makes the most perfect french toast.
If you like this recipe try these too.
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Swirl Challah
- 4 cups all purpose flour + more for kneading sifted
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 packet yeast ¼oz
- 1 Tb sugar
- 3 Tb honey
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup vegetable
- 2 eggs + 1 yolk save white for egg wash
- 4 Tb butter melted
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 Tb cinnamon
- 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 and whisk together.
- Using a dough attachment on your mixer, gradually add sifted flour and salt, about ½ 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 ½hours 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 4 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.
- Next, use a pastry brush to brush melted butter all over your strand. Then sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon generously, gently pressing the cinnamon and sugar into the dough. Then, twist the strand so it looks like a a spiral and continue with the rest. (It's ok if it's not perfect).
- If doing a round challah, take your 4 strands and lay them in a cross. 2 vertical and 2 horizontal, having the strands go over and under each other.
- Then take every other strand and place it over the one next to it, making a weave pattern. It doesn't have to be perfect. Tuck the ends underneath.
- Place on cookie sheet and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
- 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.
Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker) says
Oh, dear, it makes me sad to think about those yummy baked goods spending a month on a truck/plane. This challah looks amazing. I make challah all the time but have never done anything creative with my recipe. Bookmarking this to try.
Thank you so much Rivki!! I am so happy my mom got her package! Challah is so fun to experiment with..I really hope you try the cinnamon one 🙂
Lauren at Keep It Sweet says
This looks amazing, I just wish I had time to make it for the holiday this year! So happy to hear yours made it to your mom okay:-)
Thanks Lauren! I knwo this is the beginning of your crazy busy season!!
Karla @ Foodologie says
Great job!!! These look great!!!
Thanks gf :)))
Meagan @ The Curried Nut says
I was at IFBC too! 🙂 Sorry we didn't connect.
The challah looks amazing; I'll definitely be giving it a try here soon!
Hi Meagan!! There were just so many people..hopefully next time for sure!!
Laura Dembowski says
I bet this bread is so soft and flavorful. I wouldn't even want butter on it.
Carla Silva says
Looks yummy. I'm going to try to learn dif Challach recipes. Bread hasn't been my forte' but I'm going to conquer it.
1/4 cup vegetable ...oil ....shortening?
Yes do it!! I have a few challah recipes on my site so let me know if you need any help! And yes...oil, not shortening. You need the "liquid" to help give it some moisture. I have not made it with shortening so can't say. Please let me know how it turns out..and you got this!!
Susan Berger says
Is there a particular reason not to use bread flour? Could I use that?
Hi Susan! I don't usually work with bread flour but I do know that it has a higher protein percentage, providing more gluten and can alter the challah and make it more chewier. I have not tried it but if I had it on hand, I would certainly test it out.