The Tabernacle In Branson

The Tabernacle In Branson



By Brenda Storch, Messianic Rebbetzin of The Tabernacle


For the challah dough
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • ½ Tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ Tbsp yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups lukewarm water
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • For the filling
  • 3 gala apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup pitted dates, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • For top of challah:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp sanding sugar
  • 1 Tbsp thick sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • In a small bowl, place yeast, 1 tsp sugar and lukewarm water. Allow to sit around 10 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, sugar, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. After the water-yeast mixture has become foamy, add to flour mixture along with oil. Mix thoroughly.
  • Add another cup of flour and eggs until smooth. Switch to the dough hook attachment if you are using a stand mixer.
  • Add another 1 1/2 cups flour and then remove from bowl and place on a floured surface. Knead remaining flour into dough, continuing to knead for around 10 minutes (or however long your hands will last).
  • Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with damp towel. Allow to rise 3-4 hours.
  • To make the filling, place apples, dates, salt, cinnamon stick, water, red wine and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue to simmer on medium heat until the mixture is reduced. Add the balsamic vinegar and simmer another 2-3 minutes. The mixture will cook around 10-15 minutes in total.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool 5 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick.
  • Place mixture in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and pulse until smooth.
  • After the challah is done rising, cut the dough in half. To be as precise as possible, use a scale to measure the weight.
  • Roll the first ball out using a rolling pin into a rectangle. Spread around half, perhaps slightly less, of the apple-date mixture in an even layer, leaving 1/2 inch all around without filling. Working quickly, start rolling up the dough towards you. Try and keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Pinch the end when you finish.
  • Create a pinwheel shaped-challah by snaking the dough around and around in a circle around itself. When finished, tuck the end under the challah neatly and pinch lightly. This doesn't have to be perfect - remember, as long as it tastes good, almost no one (maybe except that judgmental great aunt) will care what it looks like.
  • Repeat with other half of dough.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Allow challahs to rise another 30-60 minutes, or until you can see the size has grown.
  • Beat 1 egg with 1 tsp water and 1 tsp of honey. Brush liberally over each challah. Combine sea salt, sanding sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle over challah.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until middle looks like it has just set, and the color is golden.