One of life’s simple pleasures is a nice piece of cheese with a fruit spread and crackers. This challah takes it to the next level with brie and apricot preserves. With every bite, you’ll imagine you are sitting on a balcony in France with a cheese plate and a nice bottle of wine!
3 Teaspoons instant yeast
¼ Cup honey
½ Teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 Teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup butter, melted
1 ½ Teaspoons dried thyme
1 Cup warm water
3-4 Cups flour
To make the dough, whisk egg, salt, melted butter, sugar, thyme, water, and yeast in a large bowl.
Add the 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 ten 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.
Once proofed, turn the dough onto a floured surface and cut into 3 equal portions. Shape each of the three portions into a long rope.
Flatten each rope and spread apricot preserves in a thick line in the middle of each. Spread brie on top and pinch together back into a rope.
Using your palm, press the three ropes together at the top and begin to braid the dough. Once finished braiding, tuck each of the ends under to create a more finished/clean look. Let proof for another 20 minutes.
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 loaf for 30 minutes.
NOTES: Do not try to slice the bread right when it comes out of the oven. If you are storing the bread to eat later, make sure it is fully cooled before you put it into any kind of container or it will create condensation that will lead to mold.