Amazing Apple Challah Yeast Bread

Hey Friends, I’m a ball of SHEER EXCITEMENT, bubbling with feverish bliss, Gleefully Ecstatic, overcome with ELATION…happy. This jubilation can only be celebrated with something as amazing as  Apple Challah Yeast Bread.

I’m pleased to announce that my 9 month-old (baby) blog just placed in the TOP THREE local blogs in the annual Mountain Xpress “Best of Western North Carolina” competition!!! For those who don’t live here–it’s kind of a big deal in Asheville. Not only that, A Spicy Perspective is the only FOOD blog listed. So I suppose I could stretch the honor a smidge and say ASP was voted top Food Blog in Western North Carolina! (wry smile)

Jokes aside, I’m honored, humbled, and extremely encouraged! Many thanks to those who voted, and come back week after week to sample my recipes and read my ramblings. Hugs to you!

Next on the agenda, a breakthrough in my apple bread endeavors!

If you happen to read numerous blogs, like I do, you might find you collect a bundle of recipes, project ideas, and improvement tips that you file away with good intentions, but never really find the time to use. I read a LOT of food blogs…a lot. Many of friends and friends-to-be. I find myself in wonder at all the creativity and resourcefulness coming from these blogs. And the food! Holy heaven, the glorious dishes some bloggers produce put many celebrity chef’s to shame–honestly.

Yet for every 40 recipes I save, I may get around to cooking ONE. Why? Because I’m constantly tinkering away, coming up with my own recipes to serve to you! These bloggers serve up a hefty side of PRESSURE with their fantastic fare! *wink*

However, on occasion I come across a blog recipe that MUST be made instantly. If lacking ingredients, at least, within a week’s time!

A few days ago, I was reading my friend Rosa’s blog, Rosa’s Yummy Yums, and stopped cold when I saw the photo of her apple bread.

You see, after moving to North Carolina we started going to apple orchards every fall. At the orchard stores I discovered apple bread! Not apple bread that is heavy and dense like banana or pumpkin bread, but light yeasty apple bread with tender apple morsels suspended in its supple folds. I’ve been contemplating this bread for some time now. What sort of dough could create such a unique and addictive bread? How can it be so light and still hold up the apple chunks?

When I saw Rosa’s apple bread, I knew she held to answers to these mystical secrets! Actually Rosa would say, it’s no secret at all. She found an Apple Challah recipe from King Arthurs Flour and modified it to her liking. She’s a genius, that Rosa. (You really should take a moment to check out her site!)

After making this bread recipe, I’ve tweaked it slightly as well–to further replicate the famous apple bread haunting my dreams. Rosa’s bread is glazed with eggwash before baking to create a brilliant glossy crust. I decided to glaze mine after, with an apple cider-sugar glaze like at Grandad’s Orchard.

The bread was outstanding! This is not a recipe to be filed for later–this BEGS to be baked, right away! For Halloween, or a fall party, possibly for Thanksgiving, but really…don’t wait that long. You’ll smack yourself after tasting it, for not baking it sooner! You can view step by step photos on the KAF site.


Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 45 minutes active time

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Amazing Apple Challah Yeast Bread

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour and Rosa Mayland.


For the Dough:
1/2 Cup (4oz) Water, lukewarm
1/4 Cup Runny Honey
1 1/2 Tbs Dry Active Yeast
7 Tbs Vegetable Oil 2 Large Eggs
17oz. All-purpose Flour (about 4 cups, but it's best to weigh it)
1 1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp Orange Zest

For the Apple Filling:
2 Medium/large Apples peeled, cored and diced in 3/4" chunks
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Tbs Dark rum (optional)

For the Glaze:
1 1/2 Tbs Apple Juice/Cider
1 Cup Powdered Sugar


Mix the warm (not hot) water with the honey and yeast. Allow it to foam for 10 minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients for the dough. Mix and then knead them, using a mixer with a bread hook, or by hand, until you have a soft, smooth and elastic dough (about 8-10 minutes).

Put the dough in a oiled bowl and let it rise, covered, for 2 hours or until it's puffy and nearly doubled in size

Lightly grease/butter a 9inch round cake pan that's at least 2inch deep (or grease a 9inch or 10inch springform pan).

Toss the apple chunks with the sugar, cinnamon and rum. Gently deflate the dough, transfer it to a lightly greased work surface, and flatte n it into a rough rectangle, about 8 x 10 inches.

Spread half the apple chunks in the center of the dough. Fold a short edge of the dough over the apple in order to cover it, patting firmly to seal the apples and spread the dough a bit.

Spread the remaining apple atop the folded-over dough.

Cover the apples with the other side of the dough, again patting firmly (Basically, you've folded the dough like a letter, enclosing the apples inside.).

Take a long knife and cut the apple-filled dough into 16 pieces. Cut in half, then each half in halves, etc ... (This will be very, VERY messy; the dough is slippery, apples will fall out, sugar syrup will ooze... it's not pretty. Don't worry, and don't stress about making all the pieces the same size).

Lay the dough chunks into the pan (Crowd them so that they all fit in a single tight layer - barely. Lots of apple chunks will fall out during this process; just tuck them in among the dough pieces, or simply spread them on top.).

Cover the challah gently with lightly greased plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise for about 1-2 hours, until it's a generous 3 inches high (It should come above the rim of a 9inch round cake pan). Twenty minutes before the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 325° F.

Place the bread in the lower third of the oven. Bake it for 55 minutes, or until the top is at least light golden brown all over and has no white spots.

Remove the challah from the oven, and after 5 minutes loosen the edges and carefully transfer it to a rack.

Let cool completely. Then whisk together the cider and powdered sugar and brush it over the top--allowing it to drizzle down the sides.

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89 Responses to “Amazing Apple Challah Yeast Bread”

  1. #
    Biren @ Roti n Rice — October 26, 2010 @ 3:41 am

    Congrats on being named the top blog in North Carolina! That's awesome! The bread looks awesome too :)


  2. #
    baking.serendipity — October 26, 2010 @ 4:08 am

    Congrats on the award! And this awesome bread. I'd eat an extra slice just to celebrate :) As for CSN…I hear they have yoga mats…not so food-y, but something I've been needing lately.


  3. #
    53 — October 26, 2010 @ 6:12 am

    If that isn't face first bread, I don't know what is.


  4. #
    Heavenly Housewife — October 26, 2010 @ 8:17 am

    Great recipe, I have loads of apples this year from my trees in my back yard, and I'm always looking for cool recipes that i can use them up with. This looks fabulous.
    *kisses* HH


  5. #
    Cherine — October 26, 2010 @ 8:23 am

    Gorgeous cake!


  6. #
    Sanjeeta kk — October 26, 2010 @ 8:51 am

    Beautiful texture for this gorgeous apple bread!


  7. #
    Dimah — October 26, 2010 @ 1:05 pm

    So beautiful! It looks so amazingly good!!


  8. #
    5 Star Foodie — October 26, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

    Congratulations on the award! and the apple bread looks definitely amazing!


  9. #
    Suchitra — October 26, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

    Congrats and the cake has been baked to perfection!


  10. #
    meeyeehere — October 26, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

    I would buy 2 new spring form pans!!!! Thanks for the chance and for making it easy!
    Have a terrific week


  11. #
    Emily Z — October 26, 2010 @ 3:06 pm

    Congrats on such a lovely honor! And I am with you… I bookmark soooooo many recipes but then they just pile up and pile up… which is why my theme for this week is cooking some of those bookmarked recipes in order to clear some of them out!


  12. #
    apiciusapprentice — October 26, 2010 @ 4:18 pm

    Congratulations!!!!! That is huge!!


  13. #
    Marlis — October 26, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

    Oh, that bread looks divine!

    I would let the kids choose a kitchen gadget they could use to help me bake or cook. They are getting pretty interested in cooking.


  14. #
    A Little Yumminess — October 26, 2010 @ 4:33 pm

    Congrats on being nominated! I hope you win!

    The harvest apple challah looks great!


  15. #
    Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels — October 26, 2010 @ 5:57 pm

    Oh my goodness I'm SO happy for you. Congrats! You totally deserve it and I hope you win. Your blog is amazing and it's one of my absolute favorite. :)

    And the harvest apple challah?! WOW that looks soooooo delicious. I want to seriously eat the whole thing, haha.

    Hmm you know I don't know what I'd spend it on, I'm usually have a hard time deciding when it comes to baking/cooking things!


  16. #
    blackbookkitchendiaries — October 26, 2010 @ 8:02 pm

    yay! congratulations:) so happy for you.


  17. #
    Lawyer Loves Lunch — October 26, 2010 @ 8:28 pm

    Woohoo! Congrats on the award. So well-deserved. Tell me there is a huge cash prize for the winner :) Oh, and I've been eyeing a hand crank pasta maker for some time so that'd be my choice :)


  18. #
    Erin — October 26, 2010 @ 9:36 pm

    I also read a lot of blogs, and bookmark a whole lot of recipes to try later. This is one recipe that I am going to make right away, as I've been looking for an apple bread recipe. I'll let you know how it turns out. :)

    Something on my wish list would be a pizza peel. So I think I would get a wooden one from CSN.


  19. #
    Stella — October 26, 2010 @ 11:57 pm

    Hey Sommer, that's so awesome and I'm glad you're happy about being the best of the best (smile). That really is cool being that Asheville in and of itself is just super cool (smile)!
    Ooh, and Rosa is so talented. I might have to try this bread too, but with pears. I have a lot of them. Do you think their softer texture would be okay in this recipe?


  20. #
    Rosa's Yummy Yums — October 27, 2010 @ 12:43 am

    Congrats! That is awesome.

    Your Challah is splendid and looks so good! Thanks for the kind words, dear. You make my day!


    Rosa xoxo


  21. #
    Marisa — October 27, 2010 @ 2:55 am

    Congratulations Sommer! That is such an exciting honor. You really deserve it! Beautiful challah bread!


  22. #
    acoupleinthekitchen — October 27, 2010 @ 2:26 pm

    Love the idea of apple challah. That would make a mean french toast!!!


  23. #
    Velva — October 27, 2010 @ 5:47 pm

    First, congrats to you!!! Awesome. I know that you are proud and we are proud f you too.

    Second, this apple cake is stunning-the description that it is yeasty put me over the top.


  24. #
    Pacheco Patty — October 28, 2010 @ 12:23 am

    Congratulations on the recognition you deserve it!
    I love this recipe and agree it's a definite winner in every way:)


  25. #
    Miss Meat and Potatoes — October 28, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

    Congrats on your blog being featured – that's a wonderful accomplishment! And this bread/cake/bread looks to die for – thanks for sharing! As far as the giveaway I would put it towards a new set of pasta bowls. Mine have gone from 'well-loved' to chipped and falling apart over night it seems:(


  26. #
    Valerie — October 28, 2010 @ 11:20 pm

    I love your apple bread! Too tempting! If I got a gift card, I'd definitely put it towards a stand mixer. :-)


  27. #
    Susan @ The Spice Garden — October 29, 2010 @ 1:08 am

    Sommer, this apple cake looks a masterpiece! It is exciting when you perfect a recipe isn't it?
    Congrats on the blog award, too ! This is wonderful news! As for the favored kitchen gadget … I'd put the certificate toward a stand mixer … my arm gets tired whipping batters and sauces and mixing doughs.


  28. #
    lynne — October 29, 2010 @ 6:49 am

    The cake looks amazing! I would love to buy some new cake pans!


  29. #
    Hyosun Ro — October 30, 2010 @ 3:34 am

    Congrats on your well deserved blog award!! Your apple bread looks sooooo good!I am making it this weekend.


  30. #
    gringarl — November 1, 2010 @ 1:35 am

    Congratulation on the award, you deserve it.
    The bread looks so good, I like the shape you gave to it.


  31. #
    Nive — November 1, 2010 @ 5:34 am

    That's a great giveaway..thanks…I would like to spend it on new kitchen items if I won…


  32. #
    She's Cookin' — November 4, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

    Sorry I'm so late to the game – catching up on my reading after being gone for two weeks… Congrats on being the best food blog in WNC and on discovering the apple bread recipe of your dreams! It does look divine and is definitely something I would make.


  33. #
    Tamanna — November 4, 2010 @ 11:13 pm

    this apple bread which looks like a cake looks jaw dropping delicious. i can gulp 3 to 4 pieces in my mouth ! i am loving fruit in baking these days thanks for recipe!


  34. #
    Lea Ann — November 6, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

    Congratulations!!!! Beautiful break.


  35. #
    Lea Ann — November 6, 2010 @ 9:57 pm

    ah…..make that "bread"….not break. :-)


  36. #
    Bar Stools — March 13, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

    Not only beautiful … i cooked one and it tastes amazing !!


  37. #
    Christopher Sorel — October 20, 2011 @ 8:40 am

    I would use it to by a new spring form pan to make this. Mine is rusty and horrible now after the years of use


  38. #
    apple tv — December 6, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

    Excellent work, many really valid suggestions! I appreciate you writing this editorial and the rest of your web site is excellent!



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