Most people know challah — a Jewish egg bread — as a braided loaf. But truth is, it can take on a variety of shapes. And at Rosh Hashana it often is formed into a spiral, which is meant to symbolize the circle and continuity of the Jewish new year, which begins at sundown on Wednesday.
To make this delicious celebratory bread a little easier, we gave our version of spiral challah a boost thanks to a bit of help from baking powder. And to make it easier to shape — and faster to bake — we divided the large loaf into mini rolls shaped in muffin tins. The result tastes like challah, but looks like a beautiful popover.
If desired, you can add raisins to the spirals, then drizzle them with honey after they come out of the oven for a great breakfast.
SPEEDY CHALLAH MUFFIN SPIRALS
Start to finish: 21/2 hours (30 minutes active)
2/3 cup warm water
4 whole eggs, room temperature
3 egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons instant yeast
41/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
For the egg wash:
1 tablespoon water
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, 4 whole eggs, 3 egg yolks, oil, honey, salt, baking powder, yeast and 41/2 cups of flour. Mix on low speed for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. The dough should be very soft and slightly sticky. If it feels too sticky, add the remaining flour 2 tablespoons at a time.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
Dump the dough out onto the counter and divide into 16 even pieces. Roll each piece into a 12-inch long snake.
Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Spiral 1 dough snake into each muffin cup. Cover the muffin tin loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise again in a warm place for another 45 minutes, or until puffy.