Challah on its own should win an award for best bread out there. Whether it's Friday night for Shabbat, or as french toast from the trendiest spots, challah is a breadwinner.
Traditionally a Jewish bread, there a few markers that it's good and authentic. First, it's braided and sweet. The outside should be flaky and inside should be incredibly soft and doughy.
With this recipe, kick it up a notch to get that soft and doughy inside, then stuff it with flavors that are sure to impress your friends and accompany any dish at the dinner table.
Pesto and Sun Dried Tomato Stuffed Challah
- Prep Time:1 hr 30 mins
- Cook Time:45 mins
- Total Time:2 hrs 15 mins
- 4 tsp active dry or instant yeast
- 2 cup lukewarm water
- 10 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 4 tsp salt
- 4 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks save whites for egg wash
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 8 oz jar pesto sauce
- 8 oz jar sun dried tomatoes in oil
Dissolve the yeast by adding it to the warm water in a small bowl. Stir and let it stand until a layer forms on the top. Your kitchen will start to smell like yeast.
Whisk together 8 cups of flour with the sugar and salt in a large bowl.
Make a well in the center of the flour and add the eggs, egg yolk, and oil. Whisk together, it should be crumbly.
Pour the yeast mixture over the ingredients in the large mixing bowl and mix until it becomes too difficult to use a utensil anymore. When the dough is too sticky once it comes together, start adding the remainder of the flour slowly until the dough can easily be kneaded.
Knead dough for about 5 minutes by hand. Then let the dough rise by putting it back in the bowl and covering it with a towel for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.
Separate the dough into 12 equal sections. For each section, roll out into a medium thickness layer and spread pesto sauce moderately on the dough. Then add the sun dried tomatoes.
Begin to roll the sheets of dough into a rope shape.
With three ropes, braid the dough. Whether you start the braiding from the top or from the middle, go with what works for you.
Transfer challah to a baking sheet and brush with an egg wash using the egg whites left. And if you don't have a brush in your kitchen, using a paper towel works fine.
Bake the challah for approximately 35-40 minutes, until the top is browned.