Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pear Challah

Little dedication here: this bread belongs to a special friend of mine.
If I could make the world better for you with some sweet dough and a little sugar, I would.
This pear challah is my feeble attempt at some substitute.
I love working with challah dough; it has a texture I can't describe well- it's bouncy, soft, mushy, and pliable.

My original recipe uses apples, but I have quite a few pears lying around and you can flip-flop between these two fruits pretty easily. I use my faithful Bread Machine Cookbook here, with my own twists in the dough and the filling.

Pear Challah
adapted from The Bread Machine Cookbook

For the dough:

3/4 cup water

2 eggs

3 Tbs vegetable oil

2 cups bread flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

3 Tbs sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp yeast

For the filling:

5 small pears, mixed variety (I used bosc and anjou pears), peeled, cored, and diced

Juice of 1 lemon

2 Tbs honey

1/2 tsp cinnamon

For finishing:

1 Tbs melted butter

2 Tbs sugar

For the dough: Place all ingredients in a bread machine pan and program for the dough cycle. Meanwhile, mix the filling ingredients and stash in the fridge. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

When the machine cycle finishes, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into three equal pieces, and set two aside. Retrieve the filling from the fridge and drain any accumulated liquid.

Roll out the first ball of dough to ~ 3 inches by 12 inches. Brush lightly with the melted butter and top with 1/3 of the filling down the center. Starting at one end, pinch the dough closed over the filling until well sealed. Turn over and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat the process with the second and third balls of dough, placing alongside the first filled log on the baking sheet. Position the far ends of the logs together and braid them together, tucking the ends in firmly. Brush with any leftover butter and sprinkle with the sugar. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a rack and allow to cool a bit before removing the parchment paper.

Slice and serve slightly warmed or at room temperature.


1 comment:

Erica said...

owwww- this looks so yummy. I want some right now ;)