Happy Hanukkah! Challah is already known for being a sweet bread, but with some added vanilla extract and topped with frosting, this funfetti challah recipe is basically the best cake ever. No seriously, this super doughy and fluffy loaf is your excuse to eat dessert any time of the day. Even better idea: before frosting this, use your challah in my cake batter French toast recipe for a double whammy funfetti recipe.
Baking bread can be intimidating. Trust me I get it. I’ve made all types of bread, and I still get concerned waiting for the yeast to foam and for the dough to double in size. Thankfully, three packets of yeast cost just over a dollar, and all you need to mix it with is some water (and the occasional teaspoon of sugar), which gives you plenty of opportunity to mess up and start over without feeling like you’re truly wasting. When you’ve finally gotten the yeast and water combination to that frothy, bubbly consistency, the smell will be magical. Of course, it won’t take over your home like a freshly baked loaf of bread, but when you put your nose closer to the bowl it’ll smell exactly like the end result.
As for baking and being intimidated, luckily with challah it’s easier than most breads to figure out when it’s complete. The top of the loaf will be golden to dark brown. Typically if a loaf of bread gets this color, it’s burnt or dried out, but not with challah. If you prefer the top to be not as dark, bake according to instructions below, and once it’s golden brown cover with tin foil and continue baking as directed.
The frosting is the easiest part of this recipe! For that true funfetti flavor I used funfetti frosting (duh), and just melted it to pour over the loaf of challah. Of course, you’re more than welcome to make a homemade frosting, but you did just make your own loaf of bread, so I don’t expect much more from you today.
For the challah:
- 2 tsp. dry active yeast
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/3 cup lukewarm water
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup oil
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup sprinkles
For the egg wash:
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp. water
For the frosting:
- 1 can white frosting, melted
- In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast over the water with one teaspoon of the granulated sugar. Let it sit for 10 minutes until frothy. Stir gently.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, and sprinkles. Stir to combine.
- Add oil, vanilla, and eggs to dry ingredients, and stir to combine.
- Pour yeast mixture into other ingredients, and knead for 15 minutes by hand (or with proper mixing tools if you have them) until you form a ball shape.
- Spray clean a mixing bowl with baking spray, and place a ball of dough into the bowl. Cover with a damp towel, and place somewhere warm until the dough has doubled in size (this should take roughly three hours). Make sure to punch the dough down every 45 minutes.
- Slice dough into three even ropes (or six if you want a double braided challah). They should be long and thin. Attach ropes at one end by squeezing them together, and braid the strands together. Squeeze the other end together once the braid is complete.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the braided challah on top. Cover with a dishcloth, set somewhere warm (not hot), and let it rise for roughly one hour.
- Mix egg wash together, and brush over entire challah (excluding the bottom).
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes, and repeat brushing the egg wash over the challah. Bake a remaining 15 minutes. Let it cool for 15 minutes at least.
- In a microwavable safe bowl, microwave the frosting for roughly 30 seconds. Immediately pour over challah. Top with extra sprinkles, serve, and enjoy!
For more cool holiday food ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.
Images & Recipe: Public Lives, Secret Recipes