Friday, January 18, 2013

Piña Colada Challah

First of all, I want to thank all of you that have kept The Challah Blog in your readers over it's somewhat lengthy hiatus these past few months.  As I've alluded to a few times, we have had some very emotional times with the extended illness and hospice-care of a beloved family member.  That, coupled with returning to school to begin my PhD studies, has created a bit of a void in creativity for baking and a need for basic, safe, and utterly delicious "plain" challah (challah is never really plain, is it?).

However, we're slowly getting back to creative recipes and lots of fun times.  I hope you'll all have us back again.  We're glad to be here.
This week's recipe has been in our queue for quite some time. A friend of ours who teaches, mom of four, and teacher in the religious school at our synagogue suggested it to us many, many months ago. And, Yael, you were right! It was great!

I admit, I was definitely a little skeptical at first, because I was worried that this challah would be a bit too sweet. Another friend pointed out that sweetened pineapple wasn't terrible different from adding raisins (shudder!) to dough... just an added sweetness, this time with a bit of tang.

But, it was the coconut that surprised me. The coconut was actually quite mild in the dough itself, almost completely melting away. And on top of the bread, it was DELICIOUS. It crisped up, tasted nothing like those awful Passover macaroons, and was really a treat. I'm excited now, because I feel like the discovery of coconut in challah opens up a few new doors for us... Almond Joy or Mounds Bar Challah, anyone? I think they're coming soon! Here's what you'll need for Piña Colada Challah...

A challah recipe of your choice -- for these proportions, I used one half of our half batch recipe... about 1 1/2 cups of flour. You'll want to adjust proportions accordingly.

For the 1 1/2 c flour dough, you'll need...
1/4 c plus about 2 Tbs sweetened flaked coconut (from the baking aisle)
1/4 c (about a handful) dried, sweetened pineapple, cut into about raisin-sized pieces

I think this recipe might also benefit from a splash of rum to make it truly Piña Colada-flavored. However, I've never introduced alcohol into bread, so I'm not sure where else you'd need to adjust proportions.
Chop your pineapple into small pieces with a large, sharp knife.
After your dough is risen and ready to be braided, plop the pineapple and 1/4 c coconut on your dough and knead by hand. Have extra flour on hand in case its sticky (it will be).
Using a sharp knife, divide your dough into the number of strands you'd like to use. Braid as normal.
pina_colada_03 pina_colada_04
After the egg wash, top your challah with shredded coconut. When baking, you'll probably want to foil the top of the loaf near the end (last five minutes) to prevent over-browning.
Enjoy with your tropical self, and be proud of a very unique challah. In this coooold winter weather up her in Wisconsin, this challah reminds me of summer!
Shabbat Shalom from our bayit to yours!


  1. Love it!! I'll make it sometime soon:). Gut shabbos, and welcome back!

    1. Ok, I made this Friday! I added some rum extract in with the coconut and folded it on at the end. The pineapple I threw in with the flour. Next time I think I'd add a little more coconut and maybe also some coconut extract in with the eggs, for a more coladay flavor. Such a cute idea! We finished 2 loaves of it! Third loaf is now frozen for later. Thanks!!:)

  2. What a totally fun and unique challah! I'm going to have to give this one a try!

  3. Want to try this for yom tov!looks so great!

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