Peppermint To Be

It has been a freezing 55-60 degrees here in SoCal this week and I am embarrassed to admit that my midwestern blood has thinned. I have been guzzling warm drinks to try to stay warm during these “winter” temperatures. One of my favorite cold weather drinks is peppermint hot chocolate with gooey melty marshmallows on top. Nothing beats sipping a cup of peppermint hot chocolate after dinner while snuggled under a blanket on the couch.

This challah is a peppermint chocolate dough, filled with peppermint hot chocolate filling and stuffed with peppermint marshmallows. It will take you back to those days as a kid where you would come home from school, your mom would make you a cup of hot chocolate and you would watch the snow fall.

I hope you enjoy!

Challah

4 ½ Teaspoons instant yeast (2 packets of active dry yeast works too but I have found instant yeast results in a fluffier texture)

½ Cup sugar

1 Cup Trader Joe’s Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix (picture below so you know what to look for!)

2 large eggs, beaten

1 Teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup margarine, melted

2 Cups warm water

7 cups all-purpose flour ( I typically use anywhere from 6-8 cups of flour depending on the temperature and humidity outside)

Filling

½ Cup Trader Joe’s Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix

¼ Cup melted margarine

1 Bag Trader Joe’s Peppermint Marshmallows (picture below so you know what to look for!)

Whisk eggs, salt, ½ margarine, ½ cup sugar, 2 cups warm water, yeast, and hot chocolate mix in a large bowl.


Add the beaten eggs 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 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 prove. (Make sure the oven is off!) Prove until the dough is doubled in size about 45 minutes-1 hour.


Once proved, turn the dough onto a floured surface and cut into 6 equal portions. Keep three portions out and place three back into the bowl.


Mix the remaining ½ cup of Trader Joe’s Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix with ¼ cup of melted margarine to create the filling.


Roll each portion into a long rectangle. Spread ⅓ of the hot chocolate mixture over the rectangle leaving about ⅓ inch on every side. Take ⅓ of the bag of marshmallows and place the marshmallows in the middle of the rectangle. Tightly roll the rectangle so that it creates a long rope and pinch the seam tightly so that it does not explode in the oven. Repeat for each of the other portions of dough.

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. Do the same with the remaining three pieces of dough. Let prove for another 30 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 loaves for 25 minutes, then increase the temperature to 425 degrees. (Keep an eye on the loaves once you up the temperature, you may have to cover them with tinfoil if the tops start to get too dark.)

Continue baking for another 8-10 minutes until the loaves sound hollow when you tap on the bottom.




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.





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