This Sweet Potato Challah is so delicious with a little bit of fresh ginger added in to give it a unique twist!
Challah bread is one of the most delicious breads out there. I’m not Jewish, but I worked at a Jewish elementary school once. I fell in love with challah there. We ate it every Friday, but it’s also a bread that is eaten during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. This sweet potato challah is a yummy twist on the classic sweet challah bread recipe.
How to make Sweet Potato Challah:
Combine yeast, sugar and warm water. Wait for it to become foamy. Then mix in sugar, butter, salt and eggs. Flour is stirred in with mashed sweet potato and fresh ginger.
The dough is kneaded gently by hand for 2 to 3 minutes on a floured board. At this point, the dough will be smooth and soft. It’s shaped into a ball and given a (covered) rising time of about one hour (until doubled in size).
How to create a warm rising place for homemade bread:
Sometimes your house isn’t quite the right temperature for allowing for bread to rise in a warm place. Use your oven! Turn the light on in your oven, and set the temperature for 400 degrees. Let it warm up for about 30 seconds– then turn it off! Then your oven will be a nice, warm place to use for letting your sweet potato challlah to rise. Just make sure you turn off the oven!!
Punch down the risen dough, and divide it in half. Divide each half into three equal parts. Roll out each part into an 8-inch log.
Pinch each of the three pieces together at their tips and braid them to create the challah; then pinch the combined ends together. Repeat the process with the other dough half. Cover the loaves loosely with a clean dishtowel and let them rise to almost double in bulk (again, in a warm place). Beat the remaining egg lightly, by hand and brush the challah tops with it. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake 40 to 45 minutes.
Sweet Potato Challah
- Two .25-ounce envelopes active dry yeast
- 4 tablespoons granulated white sugar, divided
- ½ cup warm water
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs, divided
- 3 to 3½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup mashed sweet potatoes or yams
- One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
- In a large bowl, combine the yeast with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and warm water in a mixing bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes until the yeast becomes foamy. Add the remaining sugar, butter, salt and 2 of the eggs to the yeast mixture and stir to blend well. Stir in the flour, 1 cup at a time, then stir in the sweet potatoes and ginger.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 2 to 3 minutes, adding only enough flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the board. The dough will be soft, so don't knead it too heavily. When the dough is smooth and springy to the touch, shape it into a ball. Put it in a greased bowl and turn to coat the surface. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. This could take longer on cooler days.
- Punch down the dough, then shape it into a ball and let it rest for 2 minutes. Turn out onto a floured board. Divide in half. Divide each half into thirds and roll out each third into an 8-inch log. Pinch each of the three pieces together at their tips and braid them to create the challah; then pinch the combined ends together. Repeat the process with the other dough half.
- Cover the loaves loosely with a clean dishtowel and let them rise to almost double in bulk (again, in a warm place). Beat the remaining egg lightly, by hand. and paint the challah tops with it. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake 40-45 minutes.
- *If using canned sweet potatoes, be sure to drain all of the liquid before mashing.
- *Try adding raisins or other dried fruit with the sweet potato.