It is that time of year again; Elul is winding down and before we know it, it is going to be 5778. I know that for the next month I will still be writing 5777 on all my work.
If you haven’t guessed yet, it’s Rosh Hashanah – Jewish New Year! Shanah Tovah!
Rosh Hashanah will be welcomed around the world at sunset on September 20th. Before the meal it is customary to eat apples dipped in honey to ensure a sweet new year. The apple and honey motif extends through many of the dishes that people serve during Rosh Hashanah.
For Rosh Hashanah I am going to give you two apple recipes! Thats right, two for the price of one! At the bottom of the post you will find links to other recipes to round out a complete meal for Rosh Hashanah.
Apple Honey Challah
First we have an apple honey challah, a braided bread. Normally challah is braided in an oblong shape but for Rosh Hashanah we braid it in a circle to represent the yearly cycle.
Apple Honey Round Challah
Recipe makes two loaves.
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup honey
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp salt
- 5-7 cup flour
- 3 granny smith/ baking apples
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp turbinado sugar
- 1 egg, for egg wash
Pour 1/4 cup of lukewarm water in a bowl. Add one packet of yeast, equal to 2 1/4 tsp, and 1 tsp. Let it sit for 10 mins to ensure the yeast is activating.
Add 1 1/4 cup of water, 1 egg, 3 egg yolks, 3/4 cup of honey, 2 tbsp canola oil, 2 tsp vanilla and 2 tsp of salt, to the yeast mixture. Mix. Add 1/2 cup of flour at a time. Kneed the bread and adding flour till the dough is smooth and not sticky. Place in a greased bowl. Let rise till doubled.
Peel, core and dice apples. Pat dry apples. Then toss them in a bit of sugar (and optional cinnamon.)
Divide dough in half. Store half, cut other half into four equal parts. Roll out one part into a long rectangular shape. Place apples along the length of the dough. Roll up the dough over the apples. Repeat with the three other strands.
Braid the dough however you would like. (detailed instructions in post) Let rise for 30 mins.
Preheat oven to 350F (180C) Prepare an egg wash ( 1 egg and 1 tbsp water) brush on bread. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over the bread if using. Bake in oven for 40 mins or until golden brown.
Making the dough
First take ¼ cup of lukewarm water into a large mixing bowl. Add one packet of yeast (which is about 2 ¼ tsps), I use quick rise, and 1 tsp of sugar. Give it a quick whisk to dissolve. Let the yeast mixture sit for about 10 minutes. It should become foamy, if it doesn’t you need new yeast.
Once your yeast mixture is foamy, add the remaining 1 ¼ cup of water to the mixture along with the 1 full egg, 3 egg yolks, ¾ cup of honey, 2 tbsp of canola oil, 2 tsp vanilla, and 2 tsp of salt. Mix ingredients together. Add ½ cup of flour at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon after each ½ cup. Knead the bread and continue to add flour until the dough is smooth and not sticky. The amount of flour you will vary. When the dough feels right, grease a bowl with canola oil and place the dough in.
The dough will need to rise until it has doubled in size. Place it in a warm and humid place. I like to put mine on the counter above the dishwasher, with a damp towel on it, and run the dishwasher. (Forces me to do the dishes immediately too!)
Prepping the Apples
While the dough rises, peel, core and dice the apples. I used granny smith apples. The apples pieces should be fairly small. If they are too big they can poke holes in the dough. Also, if you place apples in salted water, they won’t brown. (⅛ tsp of salt for every cup of water)
Before using the apples, rinse them so they are not salty, and dry them off with paper towel. Then toss them in a little bit of sugar. I also add a bit of cinnamon to the apples but it’s not required. To keep the apples from getting too wet, I keep them in a strainer above the bowl to allow the excess liquid to drip off.
Once the dough has doubled in size, take it out of the bowl and place on a cutting board. Flatten it slightly and then divide the dough in half. Put half back in the bowl and cover. Take the remaining dough and divide it into 4 roughly similar sizes. I actually used a kitchen scale to get them fairly close although it’s not necessary.
Stuffing a Challah Strand
Take one piece at a time and roll it out into, roughly, a rectangular shape.
Spoon some of the apple onto the dough and space them evenly, lengthwise and in the middle. Make sure to leave enough for your second loaf.
Wrap the dough around the apples and pinch the ends to close
Do this with the other remaining three pieces of dough, making sure to roll them out approximately similar length as the other strands.
Braiding a Round Challah
Now it is time to braid the bread. To start you want to place two strands vertical and two horizontal. The top horizontal strand should go under the left vertical stand, and over the right strand. The bottom strand should be the opposite.
Working counter-clockwise, take the bottom end of the left vertical strand and place it over the right one.
Now take the now middle strand and place it over the top one. Continue this on the next two strands.
Once you go all the way around once, do it again but working clockwise this time.
Now take the ends on each side and pinch them together.
Tuck the pinched ends just underneath. Repeat this process again with the second dough.
Place the loaves on a baking sheet and let rise for about 30 mins. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350F. (180C) While the bread rises and oven preheats, prepare an egg wash. Whisk an egg with 1 tbsp of cold water. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash on the bread. Save the extra egg wash for later. If you want to add the turbinado sugar, sprinkle it over the bread after the egg wash.
Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Mine cooked for a little bit too long because of an upset kiddo, though it is not that big of deal. In fact it is not bad to let it cook a little bit longer than golden brown to ensure it’s cooked all the way.
Apple Roasted Chicken
The second recipe is an apple stuffed roasted chicken with baby potatoes. This recipe will seem like a walk in the park compared to the challah!
Apple Roasted Chicken
- 1 Whole Chicken
- Salt & Ground Pepper
- 1-2 tbsp Virgin Olive Oil
- 1-2 tbsp Dried Rosemary
- 1 Medium Apple
- 1 Bag Mini Potatoes
- 1 Medium Sweet Potato
- 8 Cloves Garlic
Preheat your oven to 450F. (230C)
Take the chicken and season it with salt and pepper both on the outside and inside. Rub some olive oil on the skin, about 1 to 2 tbsps. Sprinkle some rosemary on top of the chicken, again about 1 to 2 tbsps. Take a whole apple and stuff it up that bird.
Place the chicken in a pan. In a bowl, place the mini potatoes and the sweet potato and toss with olive oil, about 1 tbsp of rosemary and salt and pepper. Place the potatoes around the chicken, and place the garlic cloves on top of them.
Cook the bird at 450F (230C) for 15 minutes and then turn the temperature down to 400F. (200C) Cook until the bird reaches an internal temperature of 160-165F. (70-75C) Safe internal temperature for chicken is 165F but it will continue to cook out of the oven when you let it rest for 10 mins.
If you would like to make a gravy, deglaze the pan with a red wine, cider or stock. To thicken the sauce, you can add cornstarch mixed in some water, or, how I will do it, make a roux by melting some butter in the pan, adding some flour and cooking it before adding the liquid.
Round Out Your Rosh Hashana Menu
To finish off the menu, here are a few other recipes, many with pomegranate, (another very important fruit during Rosh Hashana) that don’t have apple but are still fantastic.
- Keftes, a fried leek fritter
- Pomegranate, Pear and Gorganzola Salad
- Tzimmes with Tahini Pesto and Pomegranate
- Baked Pears in Spiced Pomegranate Syrup (My Favorite!)
Learn More About Rosh Hashanah
If you want to learn more about Rosh Hashanah, here are some good links. (Here and Here) Or if you just want more Jewish recipes, here is a link to one of my favorite recipe blogs, What Jew Wanna Eat!
Don’t feel like cooking?
Well, I still got you covered! Bliss Baked Goods here in Edmonton is an absolutely fantastic bakery and they deserve a visit! They are a Jewish bakery (that is also perfect for our vegan friends!) and will have all your Rosh Hashanah needs covered. We recently picked up some cute apple cupcakes there!
So Shanah Tovah to everyone! Have a sweet new year filled with apples, because an apple (or cider) a day keeps the doctor away. (Old proverbs are scientific right?)
Want more apple recipes? Check out The Sober Apple!