Apple-Honey Challah Rolls
- Prep Time 0:15
- Cook Time 0:30
- Estimated Cost $9.50
- 21 Comments
What if I unknowingly broke a rule of kashrut, effectively tainting the whole meal and ruining the start to the holiday season?
So, a few weeks ago, Evan and I decided to host a Rosh Hashanah dinner together.
As my ever-food-focused mind began to think about what to serve, I couldn't help but feel a little bit nervous about the whole thing. Rosh Hashanah is, after all, a major holiday--a High Holy Day--and this meal would be the first of the High Holy Day season. Plus, many of the attendees keep kosher. This meal needed to be special. Special and kosher.
With this in mind, I began to catastrophize: what if I screwed the whole thing up? What if I unknowingly broke a rule of kashrut, effectively tainting the whole meal and ruining the start to the holiday season? What if my nervous energy yields food that, kosher or otherwise, completely sucks?
Then, we sat down to plan the menu together. "To start, how about gefilte fish, served old-school with horseradish," he said. Easy.
"Accompanied by a crisp green salad?" I asked.
"Baked tofu?" Obvs (Evan's baked tofu is awesome).
"A cooked vegetable?" I suggested.
"Sure," he agreed.
So far, so good.
"Now, as far as challah," he began, "can we do something really interesting and unconventional? Like maybe something along the lines of those pizza pinwheels you made?"
And with that, my nerves were gone. Shaking up tradition by way of food? This was my kind of dinner. We brainstormed different challah pinwheel fillings and eventually settled on the outrageous combination of a rich, eggy challah dough rolled up with apples, honey, onions and sharp cheddar, along with plenty of black pepper, salt and a whisper of cinnamon. We would do lots of individual pinwheel-shaped rolls, as opposed to a big communal challah, and serve it with the tofu and cooked veggie. The meal would be vegetarian, so the cheese and butter in the rolls would be just fine (people who keep kosher don't mix meat with dairy).
And best of all, we dreamed these up together. They combine a nod to tradition (challah, apples and honey are all traditional Rosh Hashanah foods) with other autumn flavors and a fun, unusual presentation. They're the old and the new rolled up into one. They're earthy and rich, but also simple and sweet--the perfect way to usher in a good new year.
- flour for dusting and rolling Pantry
- 2 tbsp butter (use vegetable for pareve rolls) $1 for a stick
- 3 tart, crisp apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled and chopped $1.50
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped finely $0.50 for a whole onion
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon $1.50 for 1 oz.
- salt and pepper to taste Pantry
- 3 tbsp honey, plus more for drizzling Pantry
- 1 recipe challah/brioche dough $4.50
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese optional
- 1 egg, beaten with 2 tbsp water $1.50 for 6
Recipe Serves 8-10
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Lightly flour (or line with parchment) a baking sheet and set aside.
- Heat the butter in a large pan over medium heat.
- Add the apples and onions and cook, undisturbed, for 5-7 minutes, until the onions become translucent and soft.
- Stir in the honey.
- Stir in the cinnamon.
- Stir in the salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
- On a floured surface, roll the challah dough out into an 8x12" rectangle.
- If using, sprinkle the cheese over the surface of the dough.
- Spread the apple-onion mixture evenly over the cheese-covered dough.
- Starting at the bottom, roll the dough up, long-ways, pinching as you go, to keep it in a tight cylinder
- Use a sharp knife to cut the cylinder into 12 1"-thick rounds.
- Arrange the rounds on the prepared baking sheet with space between them.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the spirals with the egg wash.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, until golden brown.
- Serve warm, topped with more honey if desired.