i have made my go-to challah recipe many, many times. i very rarely alter it because, to be quite honest, it’s perfect. chewy, doughy, and sweet, it needs no embellishment.
but then sometimes… i just feel a need to stuff it with ridiculous amounts of chocolate.
the chocolate filling oozes out of this challah the second you slice into it. it is gooey, messy, and downright ridiculous. it is kind of like if a challah and a chocolate babka had a baby. a baby you really, really want to eat.
(i sort of regret typing that last sentence, given how creepy it now looks on my computer screen. but i’m sticking by it.)
anyway, if you’re the challah-making type, and you want to spice up your routine a bit, this is the perfect way to do it. your tastebuds will thank you.
my very favorite challah, made even more memorable with the addition of a gooey chocolate swirl.
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- ½ tablespoon sugar
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- ¾ cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- another 1 cup sugar
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 4 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1½ pounds semisweet chocolate
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons earth balance (or butter), at room temperature
- 1 egg
- a splash of water
- in a large bowl, combine the yeast, ½ tablespoon sugar, and water. let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, until the yeast becomes foamy.
- add the oil, eggs, and cup of sugar and stir to combine.
- add the bread flour, then the salt, then the white whole wheat flour, mixing to combine everything. at some point, you will need to use your hands to knead everything together.
- cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1½ hours, until it is doubled in size. at least once during the rising time, punch the dough down.
- put the chocolate, sugar, and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse the mixture until the chocolate is in very small crumbs, with some parts almost powdery. add the earth balance and continue to pulse the mixture until everything is evenly distributed.
- when the dough is done rising, separate it into three equal sections. take the first section and divide it into four equal pieces.
- take one piece and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a large, imperfect rectangle. take a big spoonful of the chocolate filling and spread it out on the rectangle. then, roll the rectangle as tightly as possible into a log, as if you were making cinnamon buns. gently press the edges of the log together to seal all of the chocolate in.
- repeat step 2 with the other three pieces of dough, so that you end up with four rolled up strands. braid the strands into a loaf*.
- repeat this process with the rest of the dough so that you end up with 3 loaves. set the loaves on a baking sheet (you'll probably need two sheets to make them fit) lined with parchment paper, cover them with a towel, and let them sit for 30 minutes. meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°f.
- right before baking, mix your last egg with a splash of water. brush this mixture over the challahs.
- bake the challahs for about 30 minutes, until they are deep golden brown and if you tap on the bottom of one, it sounds hollow.