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Chocolate Walnut Challah

Servings: 2 large braided challahs or 1 large braided challah and 3 round challahs
Author: Samantha

Ingredients

  • 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

Filling

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.