challah

Peanut Butter & Jelly Challah–RECIPE

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It’s funny how some of the recipes I have created for “kids” end up being the ones that adults love the most. I think this is in part because everyone loves to connect with their childhood; fun and delicious food is a wonderful way to do this.

I make a weekly batch of mac and cheese in a creamy sweet potato sauce for my daughter, but inevitably I find my husband over the bowl with a spoon. Funfetti challah was intended as a recipe for kids, but my peers are the ones who really went crazy for it.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are also one of those foods. Simple bread slathered with peanut butter, strawberry jam (I know some people are die-hard grape jelly fans, but not me) with a glass of milk, and I feel like I am 5 years old again.

Even if you didn’t grow up eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, it’s hard not to love this challah. I like using strawberry or raspberry jam, but you can use any flavor you like. Yes, even grape.

And if you’re feeling extra generous, feel free to share the final product with your kids.

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INGREDIENTS

1.5 Tbsp dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 ½ cups lukewarm water

4.5-5 cups all-purpose flour

½ Tbsp salt

½ cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp vanilla

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

Creamy peanut butter

Jam

2 egg yolks + 1 tsp water

Chopped, salted peanuts

Pearl sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. In a small bowl place the yeast, 1 tsp sugar and lukewarm water. Stir gently and allow to sit around 5-10 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.

2. In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together the flour, salt and sugar. After the water-yeast mixture has become foamy, add to flour mixture along with the oil and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.

3. Add 1 cup flour and 2 eggs and mix until smooth. Switch to the dough hook attachment if you are using a stand mixer.

4. Add another 1 ½- 2 cups of flour mixing thoroughly until smooth and then remove from bowl and place on a floured surface. Knead remaining ½ cup flour into dough, continuing to knead for around 5 minutes. Try not to add too much flour during this process – the less flour, the lighter and fluffier the challah.

5. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with damp towel. Allow to rise at least 2-3 hours, punching down at least once if possible.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

7. Divide dough in half and then evenly cut each half into three pieces. Roll out each piece into a snake shape. Flatten out the piece gently using your hands.

8. Spread around 2 tbsp- ¼ cup peanut butter and the same amount of jam inside each flattened piece, but careful not to add too much. Fold each piece of the challah up, pinching the dough together tightly. Roll the dough gently into a rope again in order to braid challah.

9. Braid challah into desired shape. Allow challah to rise another 30-60 minutes, or until you can see the size has grown and challah seems light. This step is very important to ensure a light and fluffy challah.

10. In a small bowl beat 2 egg yolks with 1 tsp water. Brush egg wash liberally over challah. Sprinkle with chopped, salted peanuts and pearl sugar if desired. Repeat steps with other half of dough.

11. Bake 25-27 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before slicing.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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