Orange and Pistachio Sweet Challah
By Meeta K. Wolff
Prep Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour Plus resting time
- 500g flour
- 100g sugar
- 3 organic oranges, zest of all three and juice of one
- Pinch of salt
- 1 packet of dried baking yeast
- 220ml lukewarm milk
- 3 eggs
- 100g melted butter, lightly cooled
- 120g pistachios
- 120g Greek yogurt
- 160g Muscovado sugar
- 100g ground almonds
- 100g chopped almonds
- Place the flour, 90g sugar, zest of 1 orange and the pinch of salt in large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the baking yeast over the flour then, then pour 200ml of the lukewarm milk, 2 eggs and the melted butter into the bowl. With the dough hooks attached, knead the dough for a few minutes until it all comes together into a smooth mixture. If it is sticky add another 2-3 tablespoons of flour. Cover the bowl and allow to rest in a warm place for 35 minutes.
- In the meantime make the nut filling by chopping up approximately 100g of the pistachios. Transfer to a bowl and then add the zest from the remaining 2 oranges and the juice of one, yogurt, Muscovado sugar and both kinds of almonds. Mix well until you get a homogeneous mixture.
- Heat the oven to 160 degrees C. Separate the remaining egg and mix the yolk with about 2 tablespoons of milk. The dough should be smooth and very pliable – using your hands knead it a few times. Roll out on the countertop to a rectangle (approx. 40 x 50 cm). Divide the dough in half lengthways and on each half spread half of the nut mixture leaving a 2cm edge free. Taking one half roll the dough – lengthways – to give you a long roll. Do the same with the other half. Braid the two pieces together, tucking the edges on both ends under the braid and pinching them together.
- Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush the braid with the egg-milk mixture, scatter with the remaining chopped pistachios, then bake in the oven for 45 to 55 minutes. Keep a watch on it – if you see it browning too much cover with one or two sheets of baking paper.
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