Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Challah

First of all I want to say that my house smells amazing. Your house can smell amazing too! I made this delicious cinnamon and chocolate challah this morning and the bread perfumed my little old apartment. My dogs didn’t seem to mind the wonderful smell of baking bread either. They were both adorable and sat by the oven the whole time my challah was baking.

Now, I have to confess I have never made challah before until this week. Let me tell you, it’s super easy to make! When I was thinking earlier this week what I should make for the blog, I couldn’t forget how awesome last week’s Kanelbullar came out, so in the same cozy and hygge-filled spirit, I wanted to make homemade bread. Challah is one of those bread recipes that is not super difficult to make. In fact, a traditional challah is one of the easier yeast breads to make. So, I decided to make my challah a little different by adding… chocolate and cinnamon, of course. And because I love myself, too.

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You want to combine your flour, sugar, and salt.

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You will also want to activate your yeast with water and a pinch of sugar.

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It is ready when it is foamy.

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Make sure you whisk you all of your dry ingredients.

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Just give the yeast about 10 minutes to activate.

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Have your 2 whole eggs and extra egg yolk ready. In another bowl, save the egg white and set it aside for later.

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Once your ingredients are ready, you can start making the dough!

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Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add your eggs, yolks, and oil to the center.

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Knead the dough for about 6 minutes. The dough will be a firm ball.

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Put the dough in an oiled bowl and cover that bowl with plastic wrap.

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Meanwhile, you can start making the filling.

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Simply mix sugar, oil, cinnamon, and salt together.

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Once your dough has doubled in size, you are ready to roll.

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Damn Gina!!

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Put the dough out on a floured surface and divide it into three even pieces.

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Roll out each piece into a rough square and spread the filling on the dough, leaving some room around the edges.

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Sprinkle-dinkle the chocolate chips over the filling.

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Roll each square of dough up into a tube.

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They will be about the same size.

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You will want to roll each piece of dough into a rope of about the same size. Pinch the ends of the rope to seal the filling.

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Next, you will start making the braid. You will do this like you would braid hair or yarn.

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It will look roughly like this. Or better. Let the dough rise for another 30 minutes.

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While you heat up the oven to 375 degrees F, you can brush the dough with the egg whites you set aside. This will start a crust on the bread.

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Right before you put the dough in the oven, brush the dough with egg white again.

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You can bake it for about 35 to 45 minutes or until a thermometer reads 190 on the center of the bread.

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Awe, look at that cutie in the corner. Pickles is just waiting for a crumb to fall, but that’s not happening.

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Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Challah

Servings: 1 loaf
Author: Melanie, Coffee ‘n Spice
Recipe Adapted from The Kitchn

Ingredients

Dough
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water (110 degrees F)
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cane sugar (regular white sugar works too)
2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs (reserve the white of one egg for the egg wash)
1/4 cup vegetable oil or grapeseed oil
Filling
1/3 cup vegetable oil or grapeseed oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 dash salt
½ cup of kosher semi-sweet chocolate chips*

*If you don’t need to keep a kosher table, you can substitute melted butter for the oil in this recipe. You can also use non-kosher chocolate chips as well.
Directions

  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the water in a small bowl (I used my liquid measuring cup, to make it easier to pour), and add a healthy pinch of sugar. Let the yeast stand until you see a thin, frothy layer across the top. This will take about 10 minutes.
  2. Whisk together sugar, salt, and 4 cups of your flour in the bowl of a standing mixer with the hook attachment, or you can mix it by hand in a bowl.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the 2 whole eggs, egg yolk, and oil. Whisk these together to form a slurry. Make sure to scrape the flour from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Next, pour the yeast mixture over the egg/flour mixture. Mix the yeast, eggs, and flour with the hook attachment of your stand mixer.
  5. Knead the dough for 5 to 6 minutes with a dough hook attachment, knead the dough on low speed. Or you can turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for about 10 minutes. If the dough seems very sticky, add a little more flour. Once the dough is soft, smooth, and holds a ball shape, it is ready.
  6. Let the dough rise until it has doubled. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place somewhere warm. Let the dough rise for about 90 minutes.
  7. Separate the dough into three equal pieces. Roll each one into a square with a rolling pin. Spread the cinnamon-sugar mix on the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch around the edges. Then sprinkle some of the chocolate chips over the spread. Next, roll each piece of dough into a long rope, roughly 1-inch thick and about 16 inches long. Make sure to pinch the ends of the rope as you roll to seal the filling.
  8. Next is the fun part: gather the ropes and squeeze them together at the very top to seal them together. If making a 3-strand challah, braid the ropes together like braiding hair or yarn and squeeze the ends together when complete. After you have your challah braided, you will want to line a baking sheet with parchment and put the loaf on top. Make sure to braid the dough with the seam of the rope facing down or your filling will spill out. Sprinkle the loaf with a little flour and drape it with a clean dishcloth. Place the pan somewhere warm and let it rise for about 30 minutes.
  9. Brush the challah with egg white that was set aside while you preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. When ready to bake, whisk the reserved egg white with a tablespoon of water and brush it all over the challah once more. Make sure to get in the cracks and down the sides of the loaf.
  10. Bake the challah for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking. The challah is done when it is deeply browned and registers 190°F in the very middle with an instant-read thermometer. Enjoy!

Print – Download – Cinnamon Chocolate Challah Bread

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Well, that’s all I have for you guys today. I hope you guys enjoyed this post. Let me know what you think. If you decide to make this recipe and it turns out looking better than my challah, post a picture. Enjoy your weekend!

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{Kanelbullar} Swedish Cinnamon Rolls

If you haven’t heard of hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”) yet, you have been missing out on a good thing. Hygge is a Swedish practice. If you ask me the rest of the world needs to get on this Swedish hygge bandwagon. I first ran into hygge through Pinterest. I would search for ‘cozy’ and I kept running into “25 ways to fill your life with Hygge” and finally, after trying it out, I started to realize that hygge is the magnificent thing I have been missing in my life.

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Hygge has truly allowed for me get to know myself. Many people enjoy hygge regularly and don’t even know it. For example, if you have ever enjoyed a nice warm cup of coffee with a couple of candles on a cold or rainy day, then you have experienced the essence of hygge. Hygge is about all things cozy, and is commonly practiced by Scandis during the cold seasons. Not to say that you can’t practice hygge any other time! Hygge is all about closeness, warmth, and coming together.

Now, the reason I’m rambling on and on about hygge is because part of hygge is treating yourself to comforting food, like a delicious pastry. Now this also opens the door for conversation about fika (also a Swedish thing). Now in Sweden people take a fika break for coffee and a bite (a pastry, really). This delicious Kanelbullar recipe is a take on a traditional cinnamon roll from Sweden.

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First, let’s start with making our dough.

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Once you have allowed for the dough to rise, you will want to roll it out like a rectangle and then spread the filling.

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Now, fold the dough and create a tri-fold. You will want to lightly roll out the dough to allow the folds to adhere to each other.

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Next, you will want to run a knife or a pizza cutter through the dough vertically to make strips. About 9 to 10 strips will come out of this dough.

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ATTENTION!! This part is important!!! For the shaping of the buns, you want to take a strip of dough and lightly roll it out to make it longer. Be careful to not let the filling spill out.

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Next, you will take one end of the dough and hold the other end. You will want to roll the dough to create a twist. (See below)

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You can roll the dough with the palm of your hand. (See below)

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Press super lightly! You don’t want the filling to seep out.

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Keep rolling until you have twisted the whole strip of dough…

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…just like so!

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It should look roughly like the picture above. Make sure to not break the dough or twist it too hard.

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Once you have your fancy twist, you will want to roll the dough onto itself to make a bun.

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Tuck the end of the dough under the cute little bun you made.

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It should look just like this.

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You can place the buns on a non-stick or greased cookie sheet.

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Cover them and let them rise for another 30 minutes.

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Don’t they look so pretty?

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Before the buns go into the oven, coat them with a light egg wash.

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Let them bake for 12 minutes at 400 degrees F.

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While the Kanelbullar bake, I had a cozy coffee photo shoot inspired by my week of hygge.

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Honestly, I was trying to practice my photo taking skills. They need some work.

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As you can tell, I couldn’t get the picture to be brighter…

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…But I still thought the shoot was cozy. Thanks for helping me, Eric.

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Back to the bunz! Look how yummy they look!

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They are not done yet.

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Coat them with warm maple syrup and add the traditional pearl sugar on top.

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Don’t they look sooo good? No wonder I had three…

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You can have them for breakfast, brunch, dessert, or whenever. Who cares? IT IS HYGGE. YOU CAN EAT IT WHENEVER YOUR HEART DESIRES.

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I like having my Kanelbullar for my fika. Coffee and bunz.

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Recipe re-adapted from Bronte Aurell

Kanelbullar ~ Swedish Cinnamon Rolls

Servings: 9 buns

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of dry active yeast
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk* (110 degrees F)
  • 1/3 cup melted vegan butter*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cane sugar (granulated sugar works too)
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 egg (left over egg will be used for egg wash)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons room temperature vegan butter*
  • 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of warmed maple syrup
  • Pearl sugar, for sprinkling

Directions

Add warm milk to stand mixer and sprinkle active dry yeast over milk. Let it bubble for about 10 minutes. Next, add in the melted butter and the sugar to the milk and mix.

In a separate mixing bowl, add the flour, cardamom, and salt. Mix them well and add to the milk mixture with the dough hook attached. Mix for 2 minutes and then add the 1/4 egg. Continue to mix this until it forms into a dough ball and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl.

Once the dough is mixed, cover with cling wrap and let it rise for 30 minutes. While you wait for the dough to rise, make the filling. Add all filling ingredients to a separate mixing bowl and just mix together with a spatula.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. If the dough is too sticky, you can sprinkle more flour and knead by hand until it comes together. Roll out the dough to a rectangle that is about 1/8 of inch thick.

Using the spatula, spread the mixture evenly on the rectangle. Next, fold the dough like a tri-fold. Lightly run your rolling pin over the dough to seal it together.

Next, run a knife or a pizza cutter through the dough vertically to make strips. About 9 to 10 strips will come out of this dough.

Take one strip of dough and twist it a few times. Next, curl the dough into a knot to form a bun. You can tuck the ends of the dough under the bun. Place them on a greased baking sheet or a non-stick baking sheet. Make sure to allow for space between each bun. Cover with a kitchen cloth and let the buns rise for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the buns with the remaining of the egg. Bake the buns for 12 minutes.

Once the buns come out, brush them with warmed maple syrup, and add the pearl sugar.

Store in a airtight container for up to 5 days.

*I use dairy-free products, but dairy products like whole milk and butter work well in this recipe.

Print – Download – Kanelbullar

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Please let me know, by commenting below, what you guys think of this recipe. If you try it, let me know how it went. I hope you enjoy these just as much as I did. Happy Hygge!