1. In a large bowl, pour the very warm water. Add the yeast and then the honey. Allow a few minutes for the yeast to bloom.
2. Add 6 cups of the flour. Then add the salt and cinnamon and mix until a smooth batter forms.
3. Add the eggs, oil, honey, and vanilla and stir again until smooth.
4. Gradually add the final 7–9 cups of flour, mixing with your hands or stand-mixer until the flour has fully incorporated into the dough. Be sure to add only as much flour as is needed to form a non-sticky workable dough.
5. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough springs back when lightly touched.
6. Pour 3–4 teaspoons oil into the bowl. Turn the ball of dough around in the oil until the outer layer of the dough has been thinly coated.
7. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a warm, damp dishcloth and place in a warm spot to rise.
8. Allow the dough to rise for 1.5–2 hours until it has doubled in bulk. Punch out some air and allow to rise for an additional hour.
9. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling.
- Peel, core, and finely dice your apples of choice.
- In a small bowl, mix the apples, cinnamon, ground cloves, and sugar.
- If using walnuts, chop them coarsely and throw them into the mix as well.
10. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
11. Separate the challah with a blessing.
12. Divide the dough and roll into strands. See page 302 for instructions on filling the strands of dough with the apple filling. Place braided loaves on lined baking sheets.
13. Brush each challah with the glaze immediately after braiding.
14. Allow challahs to rise for an additional 30–45 minutes.
15. Glaze challahs again and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mix.
16. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes (medium-sized challah; time will vary according to challah size). The challah is ready when its underside is brown and it sounds hollow when tapped.
17. Place on cooling rack to cool.
Reprinted with permission from 'Rising' Copyright 2017 by Rochie Pinson published by Feldheim Publishers. To find our more about the book and purchase it click here.