Cinnamon Raisin Challah

Cinnamon Raisin Challah

Do you fondly remember raisin bread as a child?  I do, yet these days my husband and I tend to eat cinnamon raisin bagels more so than the bread.  I couldn’t resist giving the raisin bread I remember some new life.  This loaf is sweet and eggy with lots of cinnamon, a pinch of cardamom, plump raisins and a sprinkling of coarse sugar. 

What is Challah?

In very basic terms, Challah is a braided yeast bread made with eggs.  So by this definition, one can imagine the possibilities for variations.  

Traditionally however, Challah is an egg-rich, braided bread eaten in the Jewish cuisine on ceremonial occasions. The term Challah is also a reference to the separation of a portion of the bread for an offering. 

To me, it’s a darn tasty way to enjoy toast in the morning!

About this Challah

In this recipe, I opted to use brown sugar because I wanted that hint of molasses.  I also added a small amount of cardamom because I think it is wonderful in baked goods.  The raisins are pre-plumped, mostly because mine were looking a little dry. The top is dusted generously with coarse sugar for a little extra indulgence and crunch.  This loaf was braided with only 3 strands, but by all means, use a 5 or 6 strand braid if you prefer.  

Enjoy!

Baked and golden Cinnamon Raisin Challah braid rests on a wooden trivet that is draped with a navy and brown napkin. The loaf has two slices cut and resting at the front of the loaf. A knife and apricot jam sit to the side.
Cinnamon Raisin Challah
Print Recipe
    Servings
    1 large loaf
    Servings
    1 large loaf
    Baked and golden Cinnamon Raisin Challah braid rests on a wooden trivet that is draped with a navy and brown napkin. The loaf has two slices cut and resting at the front of the loaf. A knife and apricot jam sit to the side.
    Cinnamon Raisin Challah
    Print Recipe
      Servings
      1 large loaf
      Servings
      1 large loaf
      Ingredients
      Servings: large loaf
      Instructions
      1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook stir together water, brown sugar and yeast. Allow to proof for 7-8 minutes.
      2. Stir in 2 whole eggs, egg yolks, oil, and raisins. To this mixture add 2 cups of flour, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Begin kneading, allowing all the flour to be absorbed. Add remaining flour gradually until dough begins to pull away from the sides and is smooth about 7-8 minutes. The dough will be a little sticky but you should be able to handle it without additional flour.
      3. Lightly oil a large bowl and turn out dough into bowl flipping to coat sides. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a draft-free area for 90 minutes. (It will not appear to be double in size)
      4. Remove dough and knead a few times to punch out the air. Divide dough into 3 equal portions of approximately 300g each. Allow dough to rest for about 5 minutes. This helps relax the dough and will make it easier to roll into logs.
      5. Line a large baking tray with parchment.
      6. Roll each third into a 14" long log. Lay the 3 logs parallel to each other on the baking tray. Braid dough tightly, pinching the ends together and tucking under slightly.
      7. Cover loaf with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a draft free area for 45 minutes.
      8. Preheat oven to 350℉. In a small bowl whisk together 1 large egg and cream. Brush generously on the loaf and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for approximately 32 minutes until golden and an internal temperature of 195℉ is reached.
      9. Remove from oven to a cooling rack and allow to cool prior to slicing.
      Recipe Notes

      For extra plump raisins, soak them in hot water for 10-15 minutes and drain well prior to adding to dough.

      This bread is wonderful toasted with a little apricot jam.

      It toasts quickly because of the sugar content.

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      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
      Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls

      Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls

      Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls bake up perfectly soft and speckled with fresh rosemary.  This makes them absolutely perfect along side your baked ham or golden roasted turkey.  There’s almost nothing better than freshly baked bread, filling the kitchen with an amazing aroma.  The kind that sparks a memory and elicits a feeling of comfort. 

      These lovely rolls are easier than you think, requiring no fancy equipment and use everyday ingredients. When making bread, it’s important to distribute the yeast evenly, whether you’re using fresh yeast or dry yeast.  Because I’m using dry yeast, I bloom it with the liquids and sugar prior to mixing. This not only ensures the yeast will be evenly dissolved and distributed but also gives it a head start in the production of carbon dioxide which helps make the bread rise. 

      You won’t be disappointed, and neither will your guests.  Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls are delicious and simple and will make your holiday table the best it can be.  Enjoy!

      Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        12 rolls 30 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        18-20 minutes 105 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        12 rolls 30 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        18-20 minutes 105 minutes
        Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          12 rolls 30 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          18-20 minutes 105 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          12 rolls 30 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          18-20 minutes 105 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: rolls
          Instructions
          1. Whisk together buttermilk and 1/4 cup water. Warm to 95℉-110℉ in the microwave using 30 second intervals.
          2. Combine warmed liquids, sugar and yeast in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook (see note). Allow yeast to bloom for 10 minutes
          3. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of flour, rosemary and salt. Start kneading and add the butter chunks a few at a time, along with additional flour until the butter has been incorporated and the dough is starting to pull away from the sides. Continue to add flour by the tablespoon until the dough is smooth and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl, about 8 minutes.
          4. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel. Allow dough to rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, approximately 60 minutes.
          5. Preheat oven to 400℉. Remove dough from bowl to a clean work surface. Knead two or three times by hand to remove the air. Divide dough into 12 equal portions of 55-58 grams each. Roll into balls and place on a parchment lined baking tray 1/4" apart. Cover with oiled plastic wrap or kitchen towel and allow to rise for 45 minutes.
          6. Whisk egg and 1 tbsp of water with a fork and brush evenly onto rolls. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20, rotating tray half way through baking time. Remove from oven and slide onto a cooling rack, removing the parchment paper. Allow rolls to cool to slightly warm or room temperature for serving.
          Recipe Notes

          -If kneading by hand, bloom yeast as instructed and stir in the first portion of flour, rosemary and salt.  Turn the wet dough onto a work surface and add a few chunks of butter and 1/4 cup additional flour.  Knead by hand, adding remaining butter and flour by the tablespoon until dough is smooth and no longer sticks excessively to the work surface. Proceed as the recipe indicates.

          -Spacing buns 1/4" apart will result in tray style rolls that you have to pull apart.  For more individual rolls,  increase spacing to 1 1/2" between rolls.

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          Affiliate Disclosure

          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com