The Challah Project #12 – Savory Tomato Stuffed Challah

I am starting to write this while the challah is still in the oven.  Not something I typically do, but this has seemed like such a fiasco, I want to capture it all, in case the challah actually comes out well.

First, I probably was on the low side for flour, it was an incredibly sticky dough.  But it worked fine on a well floured board. However, the recipe said it was for 2 challahs (or challot), so I divided the dough in half. But when I then made the three strands from each, they were too thin for holding the filling, it was falling apart. My solution was to keep my first strand as thin as it was, then use the rest of the dough, from both halves, to make 1 larger challah. That worked much better.

I initially used the extra strand as decoration.

Then came trying to transfer the braid to the baking sheet. Oy vey! Holes were appearing, dough was tearing. Wheel shaped challah to the rescue. I tried different things with the single strand, all looked terrible. So I just wound it into its own mini challah roll.

I then had to fiddle with the cooking time because my challah was much bigger and I needed it to cook through. Oh, and I was so flustered, I forgot to do the egg wash.  Luckily you change the oven temperature part-way through, do I did a late egg wash then.  They are now on the table cooling. I’ll finish writing after we try them.

I can’t believe it – really, really good! Maybe I didn’t screw up so much after all.


Savory Tomato Stuffed Challah

adapted from the Little Ferraro Kitchen


4 cups all purpose flour + more for kneading, sifted

1 cup lukewarm water

1 packet yeast (1/4oz)

1 Tb sugar

2 Tb honey

2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 cup vegetable

2 eggs + 1 yolk (save white for egg wash) (locally raised)

Coarse sea salt + freshly chopped herbs (for garnishing challah)

Roasted Tomato Filling

1 pint cherry tomatoes

4-5 garlic cloves, peel removed (from the garden)

Olive oil, for drizzling

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup feta, crumbled

Fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, oregano, etc), chopped finely (I used oregano from the garden)

Sun-dried Tomato Filling

1 cup feta, crumbled,

1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped

Fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, oregano, etc), chopped finely (I used oregano from the garden)


Challah Filling

In a baking dish, toss together the cherry tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and herbs until well coasted. Roast at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes until tomatoes begin to blister and garlic is soft. Allow to cool and add crumbled feta and fresh herbs.

For the sun-dried tomato challah, just mix those ingredients together. Taste for seasoning.


In the bowl of a standing mixer, add 1 cup warm water, yeast and sugar. Mix lightly with a fork to get all the yeast in the water and set aside for about 15 minutes. It should begin to foam up and you should see little bubbles.

Next, add eggs, oil and honey and whisk together.

Using a dough attachment on your mixer, gradually add flour and salt, about 1/2 cup at a time with the mixer on low. Continue to mix until everything is incorporated. The dough should begin to pull away from the bowl and come to 1 large ball of dough. Continue to mix at low speed for 8 – 10 minutes.

Oil a large bowl and place your dough ball in the bowl. Turn it around so the entire dough is covered with a thin layer of oil. Cover with a clean towel and place bowl in a warm spot and let rise for 1 1/2hours until doubled in size.

Punch the dough down and knead a bit to soften. Divide dough into 3 pieces, this will be your braid strands. Take 1 of the strands and roll making a long snake, about 15 inches long, but it should be thick enough to stuff, about 1-2 inches thick. Use a rolling pin to flatten the strand.

Next use a teaspoon to fill the strand. Don’t overfill, leaving the ends along. Bring the strand together, pinching with your fingers and making sure no filling peeks out (but it’s ok it some does).

Once strands are sealed, gently roll the strands and braid a 3-strand bread and pinch the bottom end together.

Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with a towel. (This is when mine turned into a wreath shape). Allow to rise for another 30 minutes.

Brush challah with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sea salt and freshly chopped herbs.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 35 minutes then bring the temperature down to 350 degrees F for 15 – 20 minutes until cooked through.

Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Makes 1 loaf.


One Comment Add yours

  1. chefceaser says:

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.


Let me know what you think of this post, and if you try the recipe, please let me know how it was and any suggestions you have. Thanks, Andrea

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