I'm fond of baking and since Challah is not available where I live, I've created my own version to serve at Christmas and Easter. It is delicious and not as much work as you would think. There is a subtle chocolate flavor and when served warm the chocolate chips may be still melty. Leftovers are great for French toast or bread pudding.—Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3-1/2 to 4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 teaspoon sugar
- In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the oil, honey, eggs, egg yolks, salt and vanilla; mix well.
- Add 3 cups flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes or until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead in chocolate chips. Divide dough in half; divide each half into three portions. Shape each piece into an 12-in. rope.
- Place three ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Combine cream and sugar. Brush some of the mixture over braids. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks and brush with remaining cream mixture. Cool. Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each).
Originally published as Chocolate Chip Challah in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2012, p60
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