Apple Challah Bread blends the sweet and aromatic flavors of autumn into a single, luscious loaf. Infused with the natural sweetness of apple chunks embedded within its fluffy texture and accented by a hint of honey, this bread is a dreamy treat that encapsulates the essence of fall. A staple for Rosh Hashana, it carries the symbolic sweetness anticipated for the year to come.
I've been dreaming of apple desserts for weeks. What a treat to wake up on Sunday morning to our first autumn cool front (in most other places, it was an actual cold front) and to this gorgeous apple harvest bread. But it is beautiful, nonetheless, and I will take this temperature drop any day.
This bread maybe looks daunting and unapproachable, but really, it's not that difficult to put together!!
Originally published October 7, 2014 and updated November 5, 2020. I have been meaning to share this incredible bread for so long. Today is a day we are all needing extra comfort. Make this cozy bread and enjoy a slice with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
It’s no secret that I adore any thing with apples. I may have a slight obsession with apple cakes. This apple bread was something I dreamed about baking for a while. It is made with a simple challah bread recipe and gorgeous apple chunks and warm cinnamon. This is a special bread. As with any yeast type of dough, it is a bread made with love.
You can’t rush it, and that is why I love making yeast breads. It’s the process that is so lovely. So make this a weekend baking project. I found it on King Arthur’s Flour and they call it an Apple Challah Bread. I adore challah breads and have shared quite a few of them here.
So when you find the time and are craving the comfort that you can only find in baking bread, I do hope you bake this gorgeous apple bread.
If you could make the dough, you could put this gorgeous bread together. I've been dreaming of baking this recipe for over 2 years. What stopped me from making it? I have no clue.
- Why You'll Love This Round Challah
- Ingredients and Their Purpose
- Variations/Substitution for this Challah bread with honey
- How do you make an apple harvest bread?
- Expert Tips for this Apple Challah Bread
- Serving Suggestions
- Storing and Reheating
- More apple recipes I love:
- Apple Stuffed Challah Bread
- Other wonderful fall apple bread recipes
Why You'll Love This Round Challah
- This apple stuffed challah combines the sweetness of apples with the comforting warmth of homemade bread. The combination of flavors creates a delightful treat perfect for a cozy fall day.
- The recipe is straightforward and easy to follow, making it perfect for both novice and experienced bakers.
- The result is a beautiful, fluffy loaf studded with apple chunks, which not only tastes divine but is also visually appealing.
- It's a versatile bread that's perfect for breakfast, as a snack, or even dessert. Whether you're pairing it with your morning coffee or serving it as a treat after dinner, it's sure to be a hit.
- This bread is perfect for sharing. The recipe yields one round loaf, making it perfect for family gatherings, potlucks, or even as a thoughtful gift.
- The lingering aroma of baked apples and cinnamon from your oven is a bonus, filling your home with the scent of fall.
Maybe I was afraid it wouldn't look as gorgeous as the one I saw on the King Arthur Flour blog and on this blog. It could be because I've been baking more and more yeast breads each year, I couldn't remember why I didn't bake this sooner.
I did follow their challah bread recipe and didn't use the one I usually make. This is a challah dough with honey instead of sugar. Although I always add a little bit of sugar to my yeast when it's proofing.
It's what my great-aunt used to do and it's a baking habit I can't break. I also decided to cook my apples a little bit in the cinnamon sugar. I wasn't too excited about baking with completely raw chunks of apples. I like my apple desserts with very soft pieces of apples. I was envisioning a bread almost like an apple pie.
Ingredients and Their Purpose
- Water, yeast, and sugar: These are the base ingredients needed for the bread dough to rise.
- Flour: This is the main substance of the bread, providing structure.
- Eggs: These add richness and help with the structure of the bread.
- Vegetable oil and honey: These add moisture, flavor, and a delicate sweetness to the bread.
- Salt: This enhances all the flavors in the recipe.
- Apples: They bring a natural sweetness and a bit of tartness to the bread.
- Cinnamon and sugar: These give the bread its classic autumn flavor.
Variations/Substitution for this Challah bread with honey
- You can use whole wheat flour in place of white flour for a healthier option.
- Instead of regular sugar, natural sweeteners like maple syrup or agave nectar can be used.
- For a nutty twist, add some walnuts or pecans.
- If you don't have access to apples, try using other fruits like pears or peaches.
- For a more indulgent bread, add some chocolate chips or cinnamon chips.
How do you make an apple harvest bread?
These are the ingredients you need to make this beautiful sweet honey challah bread:
For the dough:
- instant yeast
- vegetable oil, safflower preferred
For the filling:
- medium-to-large apples
- ground cinnamon
- granulated sugar
I didn't take any photos of the dough making process. But once you get the dough together, it's pretty easy to assemble.
When you have your dough rolled out and filled and folded over with the apple pieces, it's time to slice it carefully into large pieces. A very sharp knife is important.
Once your dough is prepped and filled with the apple cinnamon chunks, it gets cut into large sections and placed in your baking dish. And it's totally fine if apple pieces fall out when you move it around, just place on top and tuck in or leave it out. The important step after that is to let it rise again (should take about an hour).
Expert Tips for this Apple Challah Bread
- Make sure the water used to activate the yeast is lukewarm. Too hot, and it might kill the yeast; too cold, and it won't activate the yeast.
- When adding flour, do it gradually to avoid forming lumps.
- You can check if the dough has risen enough by gently poking it with your finger. If the indentation stays, then it's ready to be shaped.
- Don't overfill the bread with apples; otherwise, they might spill out of the bread while baking.
- For a perfectly golden crust, brush the bread with egg wash before placing it in the oven.
This bread is perfect as a dessert or an afternoon snack. It also makes for a great addition to any fall-themed breakfast or brunch spread. Serve it warm with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on the side for an indulgent treat. You can even toast slices of this bread and serve them with your favorite spread, like butter or apple butter.
Storing and Reheating
Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for longer storage; simply wrap slices or the whole loaf in plastic wrap and store them in a freezer-safe bag or container. To reheat, place frozen slices or the whole loaf in a preheated oven at 350°F for
Absolutely! Pears or peaches can make a great substitute for apples.
Yes, replace eggs with a flaxseed or chia seed 'egg', and honey with maple syrup, to make this recipe vegan.
Challah is a special Jewish bread that's traditionally eaten on Sabbath and Jewish holidays. What sets it apart is its rich ingredients— eggs and honey are used, giving it a distinct sweet flavor and a golden hue. Additionally, Challah is often braided, which is not only aesthetically pleasing but also holds symbolic meaning in Jewish traditions.
For Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, challah takes on special significance. The challah for this occasion is traditionally shaped into a circular or spiral form, symbolizing the cyclical nature of the year and the continuity of life. Additionally, sweet ingredients such as apples and honey are often incorporated into the dough to signify hopes for a sweet new year.
Apart from the round shape and the inclusion of sweet ingredients, Rosh Hashanah challah may also have other symbolic elements. Some bakers choose to decorate the top of the challah with bird shapes or ladder shapes, symbolizing prayers ascending to heaven.
Challah is distinguished from regular bread by its rich, sweet flavor, attributed to the use of eggs, honey, and sometimes, raisins in the dough. The braiding or specific shaping of the dough also sets challah apart. In Jewish tradition, some challah is separated and discarded before baking, a practice rooted in ancient customs.
PIN for later!
More apple recipes I love:
- Apple Banana Bread
- Salted Caramel Apple Pie
- Sourdough Discard Apple Galette
- Teresa's Vegan Apple Cake
- Cinnamon Raisin Challah
- The BEST Pumpkin Challah Bread Recipe
- Sourdough Discard Challah Bread
- Sourdough Discard Challah Buns
Did you make this? Please RATE THE RECIPE below:)
Apple Stuffed Challah Bread
- 2 medium-to-large apples NOT peeled; cored and diced in ¾” chunks (I peeled some)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- egg wash-
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- In a mixer, with a dough hook attachment, add the warm water and yeast. Mix until blended. Add the sugar and mix about a minute. Slowly mix in 1 cup of the flour until combined.
- Mix in the eggs one at a time until they are combined. Add another 2 cups of the flour, oil, honey and salt.
- Mix together on medium-low speed stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Slowly add the rest of the flour (the remaining 4 cups) and mix until combined. Stop the machine as you add each cup of the flour to scrape the sides of the bowl and incorporate the flour.
- Mix on low speed for 12 minutes until dough is incorporated. Be sure to give your mixer a break, as you don’t want to burn it out. Add flour if needed 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough will be a little sticky but also firm.
- Take dough out of mixer bowl. Form the dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl (when I put the dough in the bowl I swish the dough around the bottom of the bowl and then flip it over so all of the dough is covered in a light film of oil. I use vegetable oil).
- Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size (about 1-1 1/2 hours. It could take a full 2 hours to double in size, depending on where you have the bread rising).
- Lightly grease a 9″ round cake pan that’s at least 2″ deep. Or grease a 9″ or 10″ spring form pan.
- Gently deflate the dough, transfer it to a lightly greased work surface, and flatten it into a rough rectangle, about 8″ x 10″.
- Spread half the apple chunks in the center of the dough.
- Fold a short edge of the dough over the apple to cover it, patting firmly to seal the apples and spread the dough a bit.
- Spread the remaining apple atop the folded-over dough.
- Cover the apples with the other side of the dough, again patting firmly. Basically, you’ve folded the dough like a letter, enclosing the apples inside.
- Take a bench knife or a knife, or even a pair of scissors, and cut the apple-filled dough into 16 pieces. Cut in half, then each half in halves, etc. This could become messy because the apple pieces will start to fall out. (Not to worry if pieces do fall out while assembling. Simply place them on top. )
- Lay the dough chunks into the pan; crowd them so that they all fit in a single layer (apple pieces may fall out. Tuck them in between the dough pieces and place them on top. I had a few extra dough chunks leftover, and added them to a mini rectangular baking pan).
- Cover the bread gently with lightly greased plastic wrap or a proof cover, and allow it to rise for about 1 hour (could take a bit longer than an hour, depends on where you leave it rise), until it’s a generous 2″ high. It should just crest the rim of a 9″ round cake pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush the dough with the egg mixture
- Place the bread in the lower third of the oven. Bake it for 55 minutes, or until the top is at least light brown all over, with no white spots
- Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes loosen the edges and carefully transfer it to a serving plate.
- Best served warm but even great the next day.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
Other wonderful fall apple bread recipes
- Apple Cinnamon Bagels from Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Apple Cranberry Bread from Try Anything Once Culinary
- Savory Apple-Brie Pull-Apart with Curried Apple Butter from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Triple Apple Bread from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen