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Cranberry Almond Challah Bread

Cranberry Almond Challah Bread

By now it should be pretty obvious that I love to bake! My relationship with dough has definitely been a bumpy yet rewarding learning curve . If you asked me years ago to make a braided challah bread from scratch, I would have laughed and said "only if you want a burned one"! 

Today, I find baking to be extremely therapeutic. I can't braid my hair, have trouble keeping my closet organized, and often lose my keys, but I CAN braid dough, keep a spotless kitchen, and always know my ingredient list! Yay, for life goals. 

What I'm taking forever to say is, if this previous box mix girl can do it..so can you:) Slicing off a delicious warm piece of bread that you made is incredibly rewarding. Everything tastes better with a little effort. So, tackle this recipe and let me know how it turns out. 

Cranberry Almond Challah Bread (makes 2 loaves)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast 
  • 1 cup warm water 
  • 1/3 cup organic raw sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg for dough wash
  • 1 cup sliced almonds to sprinkle on top

Make:

  1. Stir yeast and warm water into bowl for mixer. Wait five minutes until frothy. Add in sugar.

  2. Add in eggs, oil, and salt. Then mix with paddle attachment. Once blended switch to dough hook.

  3. With Dough hook attachment at low-medium speed begin adding in flour one cup at a time.

  4. Mix until dough has formed, should be slightly sticky and firm.

  5. Remove dough from bowl and knead in dried cranberries on a lightly oiled surface.

  6. 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).

  7. Press risen dough down to release excess air. Cut into 6 equal portions. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.

  8. Roll each ball into a 10-12 inch strand. Place three strands onto separate lined baking sheets. 

  9. 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.

  10. Cover both braided loafs loosely with plastic and allow to rest for 45 min.

  11. Remove plastic and brush dough with egg wash. Sprinkle sliced almonds across the top.

  12. Bake loaves at 350 F for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. 

  13. Cool for 15 minutes.

Serve with spreadable butter and honey! 

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