Posted by: adventuressetravels | March 11, 2011

A Twist on Challah

I couldn’t believe how cold it was this far South.  We were off the coast of Cuba and a dull wet chill still hung in the air.  The North wind pushing us ever further south still retained a few teeth even at this latitude.

Like a bear preparing for hibernation, cold weather gives me the instinctual push to eat.  On the boat if I wanted something to eat I couldn’t exactly stop by a corner store.  If I wanted something I’d probably have to make it myself.  This frequently spurred me to bake and drew me to huddle in the warmth of the kitchen.

Today was no different, I wanted something sweet.  The Challah bread I had made a week or so earlier had turned out really well.  I couldn’t be precisely sure the date – the days blurred into each other on the boat bleeding together like the thin pigments in an amateur’s watercolor.   But baking the same thing twice in such a short period of time was a little boring.

As began to make the dough I remembered the can of almond paste we had in the cupboard.  Along with the bread, an idea took shape.  I rolled almond paste into the center each strand in the four-strand braids.

When I took the beautiful golden-brown loaves out of the oven I glazed one with chocolate but left the other alone.  As much as I love chocolate I would recommend skipping the chocolate glaze of this recipe.

This recipe may be a little time consuming but if you have patience there is nothing difficult about it.  The resulting delectable sweet braided loaves would grace any table.

Braided Almond Bread

1 packet yeast

½  c sugar

1 t salt

5 c flour

1 1/3 c warm water

½ c oil

1 egg

8 oz almond paste


1 egg

⅛ cup sugar


–          Mix dry ingredients (yeast, ½ sugar, salt, and 3 c flour) thoroughly

–          make a well in the center and add water, oil, and 1 egg

–          when mixed add the rest of the flour

–          knead dough for 10 minutes

–          place in oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth

–          let rise for 1 hour in warm place until doubled in size

–          preheat the oven to 350

–          divide dough in half and divide each half into four balls

–          roll each ball into a rope

–          roll the almond paste into strands

–          flatten each rope, place  the almond paste strand in the middle and wrap the flattened rope around them, pinching the filled rope closed

–          braid the dough rolls into braids of four strands (you can also do 3 strand braids)

–          let rise for 15 minutes

–          brush with egg glaze, sprinkle ⅛ cup of sugar on top, and bake for about 35 minutes in preheated oven.


  1. Sounds like an inspired experiment. but you leave me up in the air wondering about the results. On a cold day do you still let the crumb set? or eat ’em while they’re hot? Was the chocolate just too much?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: