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Sweet Apple Raisin Challah Bread

Sweet Apple Raisin Challah Bread

This Sweet Apple Raisin Challah Bread is full of tasty apples, juicy raisins, lots of spices, and a delicious cinnamon sugar topping! It has a wonderful texture and has the right amount of sweetness. This challah is perfect for the holidays, whether it be Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter. The design is easy to do, but it looks like a beautiful centerpiece for any table. The leftovers can be made into bread pudding or french toast!

Challah Bread History

I absolutely love Challah bread for the taste and versatility, but also the history behind it! Challah is of Jewish origin, and it was first mentioned in the first few books of the Bible. The Israelites would bake challah for their holidays, in gratitude to God for delivering them to the promised land. Now, in biblical times challah bread wasn’t like it is now. It was more basic and contained simple ingredients because that’s what was available. Challah has definitely transformed over the years!

Today, most challah recipes are enriched with butter, eggs, honey, and dried fruits. They are braided, twisted, and made into intricate designs! Even though the designs and flavors have evolved, challah is still served for Jewish holidays to remember their blessings from God. I may not be Jewish, but I appreciate the sentiment, and I love baking delicious challah! It has become of my favorite types of bread, along with my Chocolate Babka bread, which is another Jewish bread.

Apple Raisin Challah Bread Ingredients

The ingredients for this bread are fairly simple and are easy to find! I have even linked some of my favorite brands to help ensure you have a fabulous loaf! For example, my favorite yeast for this bread is Redstar Active Dry Yeast! It holds up so well to enriched doughs and rises without much effort.

Challah Ingredient Substitutions

There are a few easy substitutions that can be used in this recipe. For one, the coconut oil can be replaced with butter or canola oil.

The sweeteners I used are honey and turbinado sugar, but you could replace honey with pure maple syrup and turbinado sugar with coconut sugar or brown sugar. They are the most similar in flavors and texture.

Recipe Equipment

For this recipe, I recommend using a stand mixer because it makes the kneading process so much easier! You can definitely do it without, but it will take longer, and of course, more arm strength. I also used my Wilton 9-Inch Cake Pan for this recipe, and it created the perfect round challah.

Recipe Tips

  • Proof the dough in a warm draft-free area, such as an unheated oven.
  • Kneading the dough with a stand mixer will take about 10 minutes, and kneading it by hand will take closer to 14 minutes. The dough should form a ball and be easy enough to handle.
  • After the final proof, make sure the raisins are tucked into the bread. If they are exposed to the heat too long, they will likely burn in the oven.
  • Tent the challah with aluminum foil at 20 minutes into baking. It will prevent the outside from burning while the inside continues to bake.
  • Keep your challah wrapped in foil or plastic wrap on the counter or in a bread box to keep it fresh for up to 3-4 days.
Sweet Apple Raisin Challah Bread
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I hope you love this Apple Raisin Challah Bread! For a more simple loaf with similar flavors, check out my Healthy Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread.

Sweet Apple Raisin Challah Bread

Sweet Apple Raisin Challah Bread

Alyssa
This Sweet Apple Raisin Challah Bread is a wonderful comforting bread! It has a classic combo of apples and cinnamon, with a pairing of raisins to add more flavor. This bread would be perfect for any celebration, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter!
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Proofing Time 2 hrs
Course Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine European, Jewish
Servings 16
Calories 205 kcal

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer with dough attachment
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Large mixing bowl
  • 9-inch cake pan
  • Aluminum foil

Ingredients
  

Dough Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup & 2 Tbsp Warm water 100 degrees F.
  • 6 Tbsps Coconut oil melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Raw honey
  • 2 Tbsp Turbinado sugar plus 1 tsp for sprinkling
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cloves
  • 4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Fine sea salt
  • 4 tsp Active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup raisins or craisins
  • 1 Medium Apple peeled and diced into small cubes

Topping:

  • 1 Tbsp Turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • In a stand mixer bowl combine the warm water, 1 tbsp turbinado sugar, and dry active yeast. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let it sit for 5 minutes. The yeast should be bubbling at this point.
  • Add the remaining honey, sugar, salt, eggs, cinnamon, cloves and coconut oil. Whisk the ingredients to combine.
  • Add in the flour slowly and mix lightly with a spatula or by hand to roughly combine.
  • With a dough attachment, knead the dough for 8 minutes, then add in the diced apple and raisins and knead for an additional 2 minutes. The dough should not be too wet and easy to work with.
  • Grease a large mixing bowl with non-stick baking spray or coconut oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
  • Let it proof in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  • Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.
  • Pat and roll the dough into a 36" rope, tapering one end. Poke any raisins or apple bits sticking out of the dough back underneath the dough's surface; this will help prevent them from burning in the oven.
  • Sprinkle 1 tsp of turbinado sugar onto the dough and lightly press it in.
  • Grease a 9″ round cake pan.
  • Starting with the tapered end, coil the rope loosely into the cake pan, starting at the center and working outwards.
  • Cover the loaf with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let it proof for 1 hour.
  • Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Lightly spray the risen loaf with water, and then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top.
  • Put the challah on the middle shelf of the oven, and bake it for 20 minutes. Tent the challah with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown.
  • Remove the bread from the oven, carefully turn it out of the pan, and place it on a wire rack to cool.
  • Wait until the bread is completely cool before slicing.

Notes

  • Proof the dough in a warm draft-free area. I usually proof my bread in the oven, without the heat on because it isn’t drafty and it is naturally warm.
  • Kneading the dough with a stand mixer will take about 8 minutes. The dough should form a ball and be easy enough to handle. Kneading it by hand will take closer to 12 minutes.
  • After the final proof, makes sure the raisins are tucked into the bread. If they are exposed to the heat too long, they will likely burn in the oven.
  • Tent the challah with aluminum foil at 20 minutes into baking. It will prevent the outside from burning while the inside continues to bake.
  • Keep your challah wrapped in foil or plastic wrap on the counter or in a bread box to keep it fresh for up to 3-4 days.
Keyword Apple, Apple Challah, Apple Cinnamon Challah, Apple Raisin Challah, Challah Bread, Holiday Bread

38 thoughts on “Sweet Apple Raisin Challah Bread”

  1. 5 stars
    I saw your Instagram post about this challah bread, and I was so impressed so I saved it to make this recipe. Beautiful bread is one of my weaknesses 😂. Great job on recipe and thanks for sharing!

  2. This sounds so delish! First thing I thought when I saw the title was ‘bread pudding’…yum. But, I can imagine just tearing off a big chunk of this loaf and eating it as is!

  3. I absolutely LOVE a good challah bread, but I’m sadly allergic to apples. So, I’d probably sub out for pears or just do a cinnamon raisin version, but now I’m really glad to have a tried-and-true recipe to follow! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m sorry you’re allergic to Apples! I hope you’ll give this a try with pears, and let me know how to turns out. Thanks, Stephanie!

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