October 10, 2013
Have you tried our challah? Hillary Clinton has. Or, at least, there’s a probable, verging upon questionable, chance that she did. (Same thing? No?)
If you’ve ever opened up your email on a Sunday afternoon or walked through KJ on a Sunday night, you know that we at Challah for Hunger like to amuse ourselves—and perhaps you, too—by creating crazy bread flavors with even crazier names. My Big Fat Greek Challah, That Shit Cray, Liz Lemon, and Slap My Ass and Call me Sriracha were a few of our favorites. Then came along Challah for Hillary, whose name, sure, isn’t all that crazy, but whose over-the-top ingredient is anything but conservative.
We created the flavor with the classic blondie bar in mind and baked an extra batch in honor of (Joan’s words, not ours) the “future president.” It features our traditional challah recipe—but the dough is laced with shredded coconut and the braids are filled (let’s be real, stuffed) with milk chocolate chips, and toffee bits, and walnuts. We arranged for a few loaves to be left in Hillary’s “green room,” just in case she, too, is #ReadyForChallah.
She hasn’t gotten back to us yet about how much she loved it but we’re pretty sure the recipe is worth sharing in the meantime.
Base recipe adapted from SmittenKitchen.com’s Deb Perelman, who adapted it from Joan Nathan.
Makes six individual-sized loaves.
• 3/4 tablespoon active dry yeast
• 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 3 eggs
• 1/2 cup shredded coconut
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups milk chocolate chips
• 2 cups toffee bits
• 2 cups chopped walnuts
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and granulated sugar in one scant cup lukewarm water. Whisk oil into yeast mixture, then the brown sugar, salt, two eggs and shredded coconut (beating after each addition). 1/2 cup at a time, gradually add the flour. When the dough becomes too thick for the whisk, it’s ready for kneading.
To knead, either keep the dough in the bowl, or turn it onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth. Clean out the bowl and grease it, then return the dough to the bowl, and turn it a few times to coat it in oil. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and let rise in a warm place for one hour, or until almost doubled in size. Punch down the dough, cover, and let it rise again in a warm place for another half-hour. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour, or for up to 24 hours.
When the dough has fully risen, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Separate the dough into six equally-sized balls. Divide each ball in half, then pinch and roll each section into as long a strand as possible. (You want it long enough for braiding, but not so thin that it will tear when filled.) Using the side of your pinky finger and hand, create a divot down the center of each strand. Now fill each divot with chocolate chips, toffee bits and walnuts. Pinch the strands closed. Cross the strands over each other to create an ‘X.’ Continue to cross the two strands over each other until they’re twisted into one long “braid.” Coil the braid into itself like a snail’s shell and tuck the end piece under the bottom. Ta-da! Repeat with the five remaining balls.
Place the braided loaves onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Beat the remaining egg with one tablespoon water in a small bowl and brush this egg wash on top of each loaf. Bake until golden brown on top, 15 to 20 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack or, preferably, devour immediately.