Today, I find baking to be extremely therapeutic. I wake up every morning thinking about my next recipe. Maybe, I can’t braid my hair, or keep my closet organized, but I CAN braid dough! Yay, for life goals.
Trust me, if this previous bread flunky can do it..so can you:) Slicing off a delicious piece of bread that you hand made is incredibly rewarding. Everything tastes better with a little effort. So, tackle this recipe and let me know how it turns out.
Tips for Cranberry Almond Challah Bread:
- Use warm water (105-110 F), not hot with the yeast. Water over 110 F will kill the yeast, preventing the dough from rising.
- I also like to add a Tbsp of sugar to my water and yeast mixture to aid in ‘activation’!
- For this recipe use either 1 Cup Dried Cranberries, or 1 ¼ Cups Fresh Cranberries.
- Slowly work the cranberries into the dough with your hands. If they start to follow out just wrap the dough around them.
- Sunflower Oil can be substituted with coconut oil, but it will slightly alter the flavor.
- Make sure to let your dough rise in a draft free warm place.
- I like to set my plastic covered bowl of dough in the oven on the bottom rack with the light on. (DO NOT turn on the oven.) A sunny window will also work!
- When braiding your challah bread, you can start at the top and work your way down. Or cross all three strands in the center and work from the center out in both directions.
Cranberry Almond Challah Bread
- 2 ¼ tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1 cup (250 ml) Warm Water
- ⅓ cup ( 70 g) Granulated Sugar
- 4 ½ cups (576 g) Bread Flour
- 3 Eggs
- ¼ cup (56 g) Sunflower oil
- 2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 ¼ cup (125 g) Cranberries, whole and fresh (or 1 Cup dried)
- 1 Egg, beaten with a fork
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1 cup (110 g) Sliced Allmonds to sprinkle on top
- Stir yeast and warm water into bowl for mixer. Wait five minutes until frothy. Add in sugar.
- Add in eggs, oil, and salt. Then mix with paddle attachment. Once blended switch to dough hook.
- With Dough hook attachment at low-medium speed begin adding in flour one cup at a time.
- Mix until dough has formed, should be slightly sticky and firm.
- Remove dough from bowl and knead in dried cranberries on a lightly oiled surface.
- Place dough into a separate lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for an hour (or until dough has doubled in size).
- Press risen dough down to release excess air. Cut into 6 equal portions. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Roll each ball into a 10-12 inch strand. Place three strands onto separate lined baking sheets.
- Attach the tips furthest from you by pressing together with fingers. Braid dough completely to the end. Press remaining tips together and tuck slightly under loaf.
- Cover both braided loafs loosely with plastic and allow to rest for 45 min.
- Preheat Oven to 350 F (176 C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Uncover loaves and transfer to cookies sheets. Brush dough with egg wash.(beaten egg and water stirred together) Sprinkle sliced almonds across the top.
- Bake loaves for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cover loaves halfway through baking with aluminum foal to prevent over browning.
- Cool for 5 minutes, slice and serve warm! Store Bread in an air tight container for 4-5 days.