While I was making my Almond Joy macaroons, I thought to myself “wow, this would make a pretty great challah filling!” And I was not wrong!
This challah has an almond dough (which I was really nervous would completely fail, but it didn’t!) filled with crushed almonds and is stuffed with coconut and chocolate chips! I hope it brings you joy and full tummies!
1 Tablespoon instant yeast
½ Cup sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 Teaspoon kosher salt
¼ Cup butter (melted)
½ Cup crushed almonds
1 ½ Teaspoons almond extract
1 Cup warm water
3-4 Cups flour
3 Cups desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
¾ Cup sweetened condensed milk
1 Egg white, whipped to stiff peaks
Whisk egg, salt, melted butter, water, almond extract, and yeast in a large bowl.
Put the mixture aside and place ½ cup roasted unsalted almonds into a food processor. Pulse a few times until the almonds are crushed but not fully ground.
Add the almonds and flour one cup at a time to yeast mixture. Using a strong spatula to mix at the beginning and using your hands to mix once it gets too difficult with the spatula.
Once the dough is fully mixed, turn onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. (If you don’t knead the dough well enough, the challah will not hold its shape when it is braided.)
Grease a large bowl with spray oil and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel and put in the oven to proof. (Make sure the oven is off!) Proof until the dough is doubled in size about 45 minutes-1 hour.
While the dough is proving, make the filling mixture by combining the coconut and sweetened condensed milk until fully combined. Whip the egg white and fold into coconut mixture.
Once proofed, turn the dough onto a floured surface and cut into 4 equal portions. Take one of the 4 portions and flatten into a long rectangle. Take about ⅓ cup of the coconut mixture and spread over the rectangle, making sure to leave room at the edges. Place a row of chocolate chips in the center pinch the dough together and roll back into a log. Continue with other 3 portions of dough. Braid into a four strand braid.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is heating beat one egg with a splash of water to create an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over the top of the loaves. Bake the loaves for 30-35 minutes.