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Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

Hello all! There's currently a huge storm on the east coast so I decided to take today and make it a baking day - which certainly works out since tomorrow is not only Thanksgiving but also Hanukkah (which starts tonight at sundown)! On my to-make list for today is gluten free bread, apple pie, pumpkin-pecan pie, cranberry sauce, and of course, Pumpkin Cranberry Challah. Since both holidays fall on the same day, and won't again for a very long time, I decided to make a Thanksgiving-ized (it's a word) challah - a bread that I normally make for Hanukkah. I've made challah many times in the past, but never this type. One thing that's so great about challah is that there are many different kinds, including both savory and sweet varieties. This recipe is great because while it is sweet, it's not too sweet due to the pumpkin seeds.  

Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

Adapted from: this recipe

pumpkin cranberry challah


  • 1 tablespoon (or 1 package) instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup water (warm)
  • 4-5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup pumpkin (canned)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash)
  • Pumpkin seeds, for topping (optional)
  pumpkin cranberry challah2   Instructions:
  • Combine all ingredients through salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with the bread hook attached. Start with only 3 cups of flour.
  • After all ingredients are combined, add dried cranberries and mix thoroughly.
  • Once cranberries are mixed in, add the rest of the flour. Start with 1 additional cup of flour and mix in more as needed. The dough should not be sticky.
  • Mix on medium speed for an additional 5-8 minutes.
  • Place dough in oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour. The dough should be at least double the original size at the end of the hour.
  • Divide dough into three equal pieces and roll into strands. Braid the strands and place the braided dough on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 1 hour.
  • While the dough is resting for the second hour pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • When the second hour is up, mix the remaining egg and tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Brush the bread  (but not too much or else you'll have weird pools of cooked egg at the end!), and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
  • Bake bread for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown.
  pumpkin cranberry challah 3   We hope you enjoy one of our favorite breads and favorite recipe traditions! What recipe traditions do you all have? Leave it in the comments!   pumpkin cranberry challah 4

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