Cinnamon-Raisin Challah

Cinnamon-Raisin Challah

Submitted by: Craig Ponsford - Ponsford's Place - San Rafael, CA


Biga Final Dough Total Formula
Metric/kg Bakers % Metric/kg  Metric/kg Bakers %
Hard White Winter Wheat Flour 0.8307 100.00 2.492 3.323 100.00
Applesauce 0.332 0.332 10.00
Water 0.5815 70.00 0.615 1.196 36.00
Salt 0.0008 0.10 0.066 0.066 2.00
Instant Yeast 0.0002 0.03 0.025 0.025 0.75
Whole Eggs 0.665 0.665 20.00
Canola Oil 0.233 0.233 7.00
Cinnamon 0.033 0.033 1.00
Maceration liquid 0.798 24.00
Natural Raisins 1.329 40.00
Natural Raisins (Macerated) 2.127
Biga 1.413
Totals 1.4133 169.00 8.000 8.000 240.75


Posted July 9, 2012 by Gary

  • Ready Time :
    0 min




    • 12 hours before final mixing, mix the sponge ingredients until a cohesive dough is formed. Move to a covered container and let rise for 12 hours at 75˚F.
    • Also 12 hours in advance, macerate raisins in water*, just to cover. Drain well prior to mixing (ideal macerated weight is reflected in the formula).

    Final dough

    • Mix flour, yeast, salt, water, eggs and applesauce in a spiral mixer on low for 3 minutes.
    • Add biga and mix on speed 2 for 3 minutes more.
    • Over the last minute slowly drizzle in oil and mix until fully absorbed.
    • Add drained raisins and mix to disperse evenly.

    Shaping and proofing

    • Let dough ferment for two hours in a covered container with a fold after the first hour.
    • Turn out dough after the second hour and divide into 200 g pieces.
    • Flatten dough pieces into rectangles, dust heavily with cinnamon and premold tight 5″ cylinders.
    • Let rest for 20 minutes, roll into even strands roughly 24″ long. Using two strands, weave into a braid.
    • At the ends, tuck the longest piece over the others and give the braid a quick roll to make the thickness more uniform.
    • Move to a well-sprayed loaf pan, lightly egg wash and proof for one hour.
    • Just before baking, brush again with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar crystals and cinnamon.


    • Bake at 350°F on low convection for 25 minutes.
    • De-pan and cool on rack.

    * To add character, consider accenting with a dash of Grand Marnier, Marsala or vin santo.

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