It’s that time of year. Cookies, gingerbread houses, my muslim husband putting up lights and a Christmas tree (he likes them). So, why not? A gingerbread challah.
The dough is phenomenal – nice flavor and really great to braid with. After I was done, my daughter suggested that I should have shaped it like a gingerbread man. Oh well, next year.
The only thing I would change is that I will eliminate the crystallized ginger. It may it too ginger-y and distracted from the wonderful dough. If you really like ginger a lot, then I would suggest kneading it into the dough, but placing it on top is not something I will repeat.
But I will make this again. I am looking forward to making french toast with it!
adapted from A Turnip In The Oven
1/4 – 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1/3 cup almond milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup molasses
3 large eggs, separated
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
The night before baking – In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk the yeast, sugar, and water. Let stand until the mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the almond milk and 2 eggs.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, ground nutmeg.
Using the dough hook, with the mixer running on a low speed, slowly add the flour mixture until it is all incorporated. Beat the dough on a low speed until it forms a smooth ball that pulls away from the sides of the bowl but still sticks to the bottom, 5 to 8 minutes.
Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray and put the dough in it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Take the dough out and place on the counter for about an hour before you are ready to work with it.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide it into 4 equal pieces (for the round braid, you can braid or shape it as you like). Gently roll and stretch each piece into a long rope. Arrange the ropes into a crisscross and braid into a round. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let the dough rise, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Make an egg wash and brush the dough. Bake for 25 – 35 minutes, until the internal temperature of the bread is at least 190F.
Let the challah cool on a rack. Enjoy!