Minnesota blogger Molly Yeh fills each of the three strands of her challah with chopped green onion, sesame oil and red pepper flakes. The result is a braided loaf that quite literally weaves together both sides of her ancestry -- Jewish and Chinese. The recipe comes from Molly's book Molly on the Range (Rodale, $32.50).

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Ingredients

Directions

  • In a small bowl, stir together the 3/4 cups warm water, yeast and the 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar. Let stand for about 5 minutes, until slightly foamy. Meanwhile, in a large bowl or the bowl of stand mixer, mix together the flour, kosher salt and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 eggs, oil and additional sweetener.

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  • Add yeast mixture and egg mixture to the flour mixture; stir to combine. Knead, either by hand on a floured surface or with a dough hook on medium speed for 7 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary (but resist any urge to add too much!), until you have a smooth and slightly sticky dough.

  • Transfer dough to an extra-large oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours. (Alternatively, chill dough in the refrigerator overnight, then let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before shaping.)

  • Divide risen dough into thirds. Roll each portion into a 12-inch rope. Gently flatten each rope so that it is about 3 inches wide. Brush each with toasted sesame oil and sprinkle with kosher salt, some of the black pepper and all of the crushed red pepper and green onions. Roll up the ropes, starting from a long side to enclose filling. Pinch the edges to seal and then braid the ropes with seam sides down. Place loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover loosely and let rise for 30 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 375°. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds and remaining black pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown and has an internal temperature of 190°. Slide paper onto wire rack and let loaf cool at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition Facts

172 calories; 7 g total fat; 35 mg cholesterol; 120 mg sodium. 24 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein;

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