Apples and honey, symbols of a sweet new year, are perfect additions to a loaf of challah.
- 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter or nondairy margarine, plus more for bowl, pan, and plastic
- 3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour, plus more for surface
- 3/4 cup warm water (100°F)
- 2/3 cup honey
- 2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 1/2 tart green apples, preferably Granny Smith, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 1 3/4 cups)
*1*.Butter a large bowl, and melt 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; let cool. Combine 2 tablespoons melted butter, the flour, water, 1/3 cup honey, the eggs and yolks, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Mix until dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes.
*2*.Transfer dough to buttered bowl, and brush with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Cover with plastic. Let rise in a warm place until dough almost doubles in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.
*3*.Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Pat into an 8 1/2-by-14-inch rectangle. Top with apples; knead to incorporate. Return to bowl. Brush with remaining tablespoon melted butter; cover. Let rise again in a warm place until dough almost doubles in volume, about 1 hour more.
*4*.Preheat oven to 375°F, with rack in lowest position. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Roll dough into a rope (about 24 inches) on a floured surface. Coil into a circle, and transfer to pan. Butter plastic wrap, and cover dough. Let rise again until dough almost doubles in volume, about 45 minutes more.
*5*.Heat remaining 4 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup honey in a saucepan over medium-low heat until butter melts. Brush dough with half the honey-butter. Bake until golden brown and firm, about 35 minutes.
*6*.Brush challah with the remaining honey-butter. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Turn out loaf from pan, and let cool.