Orange and Pistachio Sweet Challah
By Meeta K. Wolff
Prep Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour Plus resting time
3 organic oranges, zest of all three and juice of one
Pinch of salt
1 packet of dried baking yeast
220ml lukewarm milk
100g melted butter, lightly cooled
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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