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Apple Cinnamon Pretzel Challah

Apple Cinnamon Pretzel Challah
Learn to make an extra special challah for Rosh Hashana or any time you want a treat. See video tutorial below.
Yield 1 braided challah loaf




  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 (0.25oz) package (7g) or 2 1/4 teaspoons Platinum Yeast
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water (120-130°F)


  • 8 ounces dried apples
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (any coarse salt will work for this)


  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon apple juice


  • Make the dough: Whisk together flour, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Add honey, vanilla extract, eggs, egg yolks, vegetable oil, and warm water.
  • Place the bowl on the stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Mix on low for 30 seconds and gradually increase to medium/high speed. Continue to mix for about 2 minutes or until the dough starts to come together.
  • Remove from the mixing bowl and turn out to a surface covered with a little oil. Form the dough into a ball.
  • Place in a loosely covered bowl (I suggest covering with lightly oiled plastic wrap) and set out to rise for about two hours or until roughly doubled in size.
  • Make the spiced apple filling: Place all filling ingredients into a food processor and process until the apples are in approximately ¼-inch pieces.
  • Punch down the dough and turn out onto a clean surface. Divide dough into four equal pieces. Cover 3 of the pieces.
  • Roll one piece of dough out to approximately 12×4½-inches. Spread 1/4 of the apple filling onto the dough, leaving a small border around the edge. Roll the dough tightly around the filling, forming a log. Repeat with the other three dough pieces.
  • Shape challah: Weave four strands of dough over and under each other to form a sort of tic-tac-toe board shape. In each section of two strands, place the bottom strand over the top strand. Moving the opposite direction, take the strands that are now on the bottom and put them over the new top strands. If you have enough remaining dough, repeat this process one more time in the original direction. Pinch what is left of the dough strands together and tuck them under the loaf. (See this post for shaping tutorial pictures, or watch video below.)
  • Cover; set in a warm place to rise for 90 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Make topping: In a small pot, bring 1/2 cup water and baking soda to a boil. Remove from heat and set on the counter until it's cool enough to touch (120°F). Generously brush the liquid over the top of the challah, making sure to get into all crevices.
  • Sprinkle sea salt over the dough.
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden and you can see some light browning in the folds of the bread.
  • Set on a cooling rack to cool.
  • Make the glaze: Mix ingredients in a small bowl. Add more powdered sugar or juice as needed to create a glaze that will drip slowly off of a spoon.
  • Drizzle over cooled challah.


Recipe by Cupcake Project.

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