Hanukkah is about latkes and rugulah but I always like a new tradition. Chocolate chip challah seems perfect for the occasion! This is delicately sweet, strewn with chocolate and scented with vanilla. Braided with a chocolate-flavored dough and a regular, sweet one and topped with sugar, this is a divine sweet challah that's just perfect for Hanukkah dessert or coffee break.
2 tablespoons instant yeast
1 1/2 cup lukewarm water
5 cups bread flour
1 cup sugar
2 ½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup cocoa
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup milk chocolate chips
½ cup white chocolate chips
1 egg yolk
In a mixer bowl, whisk the yeast and water. Briskly stir in 2 cups of the flour, sugar, salt, sugar, vanilla, oil and eggs. Blend well with a wood spoon and then start kneading with a dough hook and mixer on slow speed. Add in additional flour as required to make a soft dough but JUST as the dough starts to hold together, remove a third of it. Bring that to a bowl and stir in the cocoa and the white chocolate chips. Knead cocoa and chocolate chips by hand while the remaining dough is machine kneaded (5-8 minutes). When the larger dough is almost kneaded, add in the dark and milk chocolate chips.
Place both doughs in two bowls that have been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and insert in a large plastic bag. Allow to rise until almost doubled in size, 45-60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Gentle deflate the doughs. Make into three strands and braid into one large loaf or two smaller loaves. Bake as loaves or round the dough (end to end) and place each (or a large one) in spring form pans to make circular challah. Brush with egg wash and dust with coarse sugar. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise 45-60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Bake for 27-30 minutes, or until middle looks like it has just set, and the color is golden.
Leave as is, dust with confectioners’ sugar or drizzle on a mixture of melted chocolate (white and dark)
Makes one large or two smaller breads
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