Chocolate chip challah is a lightly sweetened and enriched yeasted bread that is both impressive to look at and delicious to eat! There's an addition of dark chocolate chips and vanilla bean seeds incorporated throughout the pillowy and soft bread, elevating this challah to something extraordinary.
Things You'll Need
0.35 ounce (10 grams) instant dried yeast
7.5 ounces (210 millilitres) lukewarm water
1.1 pounds (500 grams) all-purpose flour
2.3 ounces (65 grams) granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
4.3 fluid ounces (125 millilitres) vegetable oil
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
6.2 ounces (175 grams) dark chocolate chips
1 lightly beaten egg yolk, for the egg wash
Pearl sugar or raw sugar, optional
Make the Dough
Place the yeast and water into a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Set the mixture aside for the yeast to proof, about 5 minutes.
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Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Set the mixer speed on low to incorporate.
In a large pouring jug, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla bean seeds.
Pour the yeast mixture into the dry flour ingredients. Mix on medium-low speed to form a rough, shaggy dough, about 30 seconds. Pour in the egg and oil mixture. Set the mixer speed to medium-high and knead for 6 to 8 minutes, or until a very smooth dough begins to form. Pause mixing as needed to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add in the chocolate chips. Knead until just combined throughout the dough, about 15 seconds.
Empty the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough by hand to bring it together until it is no longer sticky, adding a tablespoon of additional flour if needed.
Transfer the dough to a large and lightly greased bowl. Cover with a layer of plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it is just doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Make the Challah
Pre-heat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit (180 Celsius). Line a baking sheet with non-stick parchment paper.
Divide and shape the dough into three equal log sized portions, about 1 foot (30 centimetres) in length. Gently flatten each portion to a 3 inch (7.5 centimetre) width.
Starting at the top, begin to braid the dough. Pinch together the top pieces then place one log over the next, until you reach all the way to the bottom. Pinch the bottom end together and gently tuck it beneath the dough.
Use a pastry brush to lightly glaze the loaf with the egg wash. Sprinkle over the pearl or raw sugar, if using.
Bake for 20 to 23 minutes or until the challah is golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and transfer the challah to a wire rack to rest until just warm before slicing and serving.