Slightly sweet, with a hint of pumpkin spice, this Pumpkin Challah is the perfect sweet bread to serve this holiday season.
Yield: 4 braided challah loaves
- 2 packages (4½ tsp, ½oz, 14g) RED STAR Platinum Superior Baking Yeast
- ⅔ cup warm tap water (110-115°F)
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- One can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
- 12 large egg yolks
- 1 Tbsp salt
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1½ Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 8-10 cups bread flour
- Additional 4 egg yolks to brush finished loaves
- Sesame seeds for topping (optional)
- In a small mixing bowl combine yeast, water and granulated sugar. Give a quick stir, and allow to sit for about 5 minutes or until the yeast becomes nice and foamy.
- Mix yeast mixture together with pumpkin puree, egg yolks, salt, maple syrup, olive oil, pumpkin pie spice and 7 cups of bread flour.
- Add in additional flour ½ cup at a time until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and start to knead* the dough, adding more flour as needed until the dough is nice and elastic. About 6-8 minutes.
- Place dough into a greased mixing bowl, cover,and allow to rise until it has doubled in size, about 15-30 minutes.
- Once dough has risen, turn out onto a floured surface again.
- Cut the dough in to 4 equal pieces.
- Pick one piece to start with, and then cut that into 6 equal pieces.
- Roll each of the 6 pieces into a "snake", about ½ to 1-inch thick.
- Weave the pieces together (3 horizontal, 3 vertical), and then braid the four corners, tucking the ends in creating a round braided loaf. Repeat the weaving/braiding process with the remaining 3 loaves. (See Bakeaholic Mama's post for how-to photos.)
- Place each loaf in a greased baking dish (or glass pie dish); cover with plastic wrap.
- Preheat oven to 350°F while you set the braided loaves aside to rise until they double in size.
- Once the bread has finished rising, brush each loaf with one egg yolk and then sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional).
- Bake for about 40 minutes or until they are golden brown.
- Enjoy warm, and share the baked goodness with someone you love!
- Recipe created by Bakeaholic Mama.
*Tip: If dough is too large to knead, cut dough in half and knead each half separately.