The joy of Thanksgiving leftovers begins on a Friday. Just in time for Shabbat.
While challah is a no-brainer container for Thanksgiving sandwiches, it is also an underutilized wrapper for Thanksgiving fillings. My Thanksgiving Challah contained tart cranberry sauce, sweet carnival squash, and buttery turkey because that's what I had handy. But you can (and should) get creative!! The moist, dense challah recipe complements the autumnal flavors of your Thanksgiving leftovers.
Challah (inspired by The Challah Blog):
- 1 1/4 cup very warm water
- 1 tbsp active dry or instant yeast
- 3 tbsp honey
- 3 eggs + 1 egg for wash
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 6 cup bread flour
- 2 teaspoon salt
Recommended Filling (although you can use whatever you have leftover!!):
- 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
- 1 cup squash
- 1 cup turkey
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast with the water. Add in the honey slowly. Mix gently.
- Let the mixture sit until it has developed eruptions and smells like beer.
- Mix in 3 eggs and canola oil.
- If you have a stand mixer, use it to mix in the flour.
- Mix in the salt.
- The dough should stick together as a ball.
- If the dough isn't sticky enough, add a bit of water.
- If the dough is too sticky, add a bit of flour.
- Punch ("knead") the dough a few times.
- Place dough ball in an oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap; allow to sit for at least 1.5 hours.
- Punch out the air bubbles.
- Separate the ball into 4 equal-sized pieces.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece into a flat triangle, square, whatever. Maximize surface area but don't make each piece too thin; 1/2 inch is a good thickness.
- Spoon the cranberry sauce evenly over the dough, avoiding the edges. Add in other fillings (squash, turkey, etc.).
- Roll up each piece into a log ("strand"). Pinch the edges so that no precious filling is lost.
- Make sure each strand is at least 10 inches. (You can stretch it, gently.)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, braid the 4 strands.
- Allow the dough to rise 20-30 minutes.
- Brush the dough with the 4th egg. (I use the yolk and egg white.)
- Put the challah in the oven for 35 minutes or until the loaf is a perfect golden brown.
- Voilà! Enjoy.