(makes 2 loaves)
For the cranberry challah dough:
1 cup 100 percent cranberry juice (not cocktail)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons table salt
4 1/4 cup bread flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoons instant bread machine yeast
For the cranberry candied pink lady apple filling:
2 tablespoons margarine (canola oil may be used too)
4 medium pink lady apples, peeled and diced into ¼ inch cubes
2/3 cup cranberry juice
2-4 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch of salt
For the topping:
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons water
Turbinado sugar (optional)
(Be sure your dough is the proper consistency as consistency can vary from day to day due to a variety of factors, including the brand of juice used. To reach desired consistency: if sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time; if dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time.)
1. Add dry and wet ingredients to a bread machine in the order specified by the manufacturer. If not using a bread machine, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, turn out on to a floured board and knead well for 5-7 minutes by hand or with the dough hook of a stand mixer until smooth. Allow to rise in a large bowl in a dark place, covered with a towel for 1 1/2 hours.
2. While dough is rising, prepare the apple filling by melting the margarine in a pan over medium heat.
3. Once melted add the apples and cook for 3-5 minutes. Pour in the cranberry juice, sugar, and salt and let cook until most of the juice is absorbed by the apples. Remove the apples from the pan and lay on a paper towel. Cool and dry completely.
4. When the dough cycle is complete, remove dough from the bread machine and divide into 6 equal portions. On a floured surface, roll three portions into long ropes, and using a rolling pin, roll each portion into a rectangle approximately 12 inches long and 4 inches wide.
5. Spread 1/6 of the filling on each rectangle being sure to leave around 1/2 an inch of space all around the edge. From the long edge of the dough, gently bring both sides of the dough over the filling, being sure to keep the edge dry, and pinch together.
6. Repeat for all 3 rectangles. Carefully braid each of the rolls together, then place on a greased loaf pan or greased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
7. Cover with a towel and let rise for 20-30 minutes in a draft-free place.
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
9. Beat egg yolk and mix to prepare the egg wash. Brush over each challah.
10. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar if desired.
11. Bake challahs for approximately 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack. Best served slightly warm.
Note: This recipe was printed with permission from Sharsheret, the Jewish breast cancer and ovarian cancer community. If you or someone you love has been impacted by breast or ovarian cancer, or have elevated genetic risk, contact Sharsheret for free support and resources. For more information, visit sharsheret.org or call 866-474-2774.