A fantastic twist on the traditional challah bread. It's sweeter and can be made as a braid or loaf. It freezes well and is great toasted.
A traditional loaf of challah bread is a favorite around here.
It's soft and rich without being too much, good for celebrations or to eat daily.
One morning, I was inspired to make this cinnamon challah recipe, searching for a different alternative to cinnamon raisin bread.
The result was fantastic. And so pretty.
- All-purpose flour.
- Yeast: besides active-dry yeast, you can use instant yeast (¾ of the amount given for active-dry) and add it to the flour, then add the water. Or fresh yeast (3 teaspoons) that you crumble and mix with the water first.
- Cinnamon: any ground cinnamon you normally use works fine. I like Frontier Vietnamese cinnamon and Simply Organic Ceylon cinnamon.
- Vegetable oil: I use sunflower.
- White granulated sugar.
- Eggs: fresh, large.
- Heavy cream.
- Salt: I like to use kosher salt when baking. But regular table salt works just fine.
How to make cinnamon challah
Filling: it involves cream and cinnamon sugar.
Braid or crown: after cutting the filled dough in half, you can make a round twisted bread bringing the edges together and sealing them, or you can twist the two ropes and leave them as a long twisted braid.
There's never a bad moment when it comes to bread baking.
And challah is one of my favorites, not only because it tastes great but because it's extremely versatile, both in itself and as a leftover. Any bread pudding is made better with it.
French toast is fantastic with a piece of eggy challah. It makes the best ham and cheese grilled sandwiches. Not to mention croutons.
Or the most decadent apple bread pudding.
Let's say that cinnamon sugar is meant to be baked directly with the heat, as it caramelizes and becomes a crunchy, fragrant surprise.
Bake it in any shape, and add other spices or nuts. It makes the day brighter.
Related recipes you might like:
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Cinnamon Sugar Challah
A fantastic twist on the traditional challah bread.
*Time doesn't include proofing or resting. So take that into account.
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 2 medium braids
For the bread:
- 7 ½ to 8 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
For the filling:
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the bread:
- In a large bowl or the work bowl of a stand mixer, place 6 cups of the flour amount.
- Make a well in the center with your hand, pour ½ cup of the water amount, and sprinkle yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar over the water. Stir the water gently to dissolve the yeast (some of the flour will be incorporated) and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining sugar and water, eggs, oil and salt and mix with a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment until a shaggy mass is formed.
- If using a stand mixer, knead for 6 or 7 minutes, adding more flour if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time to form a smooth and springy but not dry dough.
- If kneading by hand, turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, adding more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time if needed, to form a smooth and springy but not dry dough.
- Place the dough in a greased, deep container. Turn over to coat with oil, cover with film and let rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled, about 2 to 2 ½ hours. Don't let it rise more than doubled.
- Gently deflate the dough down, cover again and let rise until almost doubled about 1 hour.
- Deflate the dough again gently.
- For the filling, mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 2 equal portions. Roll each piece into a rectangle. Brush with half the cream. Sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar. Repeat with the remaining rectangle.
- Roll up like you would cinnamon rolls, starting at the long edge. Transfer the rolls to a greased parchment paper that will fit the baking tray. (You can use two papers and baking trays, or keep half of the dough in the refrigerator while you roll and let the other rise. When ready to bake the first one, take the second piece of dough out, roll, fill and let rise. Bake one at a time).
- Cut the roll in two, exposing the filling. Put the ropes side by side and pinch the edges together on one end. Twist the two halves together carefully. Pinch the other end. Bring the two ends together to form a rope. Transfer the parchment paper carefully to the baking tray.
- Cover loosely with some foil or parchment paper and let rise until it's spongy but not quite doubled about 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF / 180ºC for about 20 minutes before baking.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the sugar has caramelized, the bread is deeply golden and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
- Let cool on a wire rack before slicing.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: International
Keywords: cinnamon challah
Adapted from Bread, by Beth Hensperger
anna @ annamayeveryday says
This looks wonderful, I MUST make this!
Cocoa and Lavender says
I know I will have a dream tonight about makin French toast with this challah! I can actually smell the cinnamon here... so much so that I just checked to see if I was baking something! Thanks, Paula! Good luck keeping things organized. It would have been better to do this on your own terms, rather than at the mercy of the storm. ~ David
Paula..let's set up our cinnamon sugar challahs on a date. I'm loving your version, it looks so moist, with the perfect density, and that cinnamon ripple is tantalizing. OMG, my mouth watered when I typed that and looked at the photos again. That said - thank you for your thoughtful and sweet regarding my friend's passing. She was young (30's), so a life cut way too short.
Laura Dembowski says
Homemade bread alone is comforting but there is something about cinnamon bread that is especially so. The peach version sounds excellent too and were just a week or so away from peaches here!
Shulie Foodwanderings says
I have baked many many challahs but never cinnamon sugar, Paula. This braid looks mouthwatering and just in time for the weekend. How lovely!
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says
I feel you sister. I've never experienced a storm, fire, whatever that took away personal belongings. It's ok to scream at the top of your lungs (which I hope you have done; it'll make you feel better). . but yes, after that, I like your thinking about a clean slate and moving forward. . there can only be good, positive and exciting things for you in the future! Stay focused and strong. Big changes are good and I am excited for you . . I can't wait to see what happens. .
And oh my gawd! This beautiful Challah and that Chocolate yeast cake?! What?! I'm adding these to my ever growing list ..