This recipe takes homemade, whole wheat challah to a whole new level. The hint of cinnamon enhances the taste of this fabulous challah, especially when dipped in honey. Yields 6 round challahs
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In a large mixing bowl, place half of the flour and form a well.
Crumble in yeast and add brown sugar and two and three-fourths cups warm water. Allow to rest until yeast proofs.
Turn on mixer and add eggs, oil, honey, remaining warm water, cinnamon, and salt; then slowly add remaining whole wheat and white flours. Mix on medium speed for about 10 minutes.
Add raisins and dried cranberries and mix just until combined.
Cover mixer bowl with a clean towel and allow dough to rise for 30 minutes.
Punch down dough and then let rise another 45 minutes or until double in bulk.
Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit (110 degrees Celsius).
Divide dough into six equal portions. Form each portion into six balls, making one of the balls larger than the other five.
Oil a six- to seven-inch deep, round aluminum pan with oil.
Place the largest ball into the center of the pan. Place the remaining five balls around the center ball forming a “flower” shape. Repeat with remaining five portions of dough. Brush with beaten egg.
Place in preheated oven and allow to rise for 20 minutes.
Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and bake for an additional 45 minutes or until golden.
Remove from pans and allow to cool on wire rack.
Photography: Dan Engongoro