Breakfast/ Breads & Baked Goods

Candied Fruit Challah Bread

Candied Fruit Challah Bread

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Serves: 16 Cooking Time: 3.5-4 hours (40 min active)


  • 3 cups organic all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup organic whole milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 packet dry active yeast
  • 6 tbsp organic grass fed melted butter
  • 1 tsp Ghee
  • 1/4 up chopped lemon preserves
  • 1/4 cup organic dried Goji berries
  • 1/4 cup Skinos Mastic liquor
  • 1 Egg White
  • Zest from 1 orange



Warm up the milk in a sauce pan until it reaches a simmer and take off the heat. Sprinkle the dried yeast on top and mix to let it proof for 10 minutes.


In a separate bowl ( feel free to use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment), place in half of the flour and add the yeast, stir a few times before adding the sugar, melted butter and slowly start to incorporate the rest of the flour. Using your hands knead for 10 minutes until a glossy, almost smooth ball is formed. Place the dough in a non stick, non reactive pan and let rise until doubled in size for about 1 1/2 hours.


While the dough is doubling, place the Goji berries into a bowl and cover with the mastic liqueur. Let them soak for 20 minutes before draining the liqueur and add the chopped lemon preserves into the same bowl as the goji berries, set aside.


Once it has doubled, gently press down the dough, add the goji berries and lemon preserves, and form it into a smooth ball using extra flour if it's proving to be too sticky. Use a bench scraper or sharp knife to cut into 3 pieces and roll out the pieces into long logs. Starting at one end, begin to braid the logs, turning down the ends under the dough and gently pressing them into each other so you have a smooth end.


Grease the bottom of a baking sheet with the Ghee. Lay the bread on the baking sheet and let rise again for another 1 1/2 hours. 15 minutes before its done with the second rise, preheat the oven to 350F.


Beat the egg white and using a pastry brush, paint the entire outside of the bread, ensuring you get into all the little folds. Zest the orange all over the top and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar before baking for 40 minutes.


Once its done baking, let it cool for 10-15 minutes before making the first slice.


The photograph shows a different technique of braiding in which the dough is cut into 6 pieces and braided only in the middle. You'll have 9 end pieces around the middle braid, those get braided by the Northeast, Southeast, SouthWest, and Northwest corners ( 3 each), before the end of the braids are folded under the middle. Fancier, but just for show, the bread is still the same.

While I am spiritual, can’t say I know much about religion other than Christ rises on a holiday, Im going to go with Easter. Any holiday is a good reason to bake for family, friends, or even yourself. This candied fruit Challah style bread pays homage to Christ rising as it has to rises even more than He does to get to its final destination, but it is worth the work and patience thats put into it for the final result. A bit of antioxidant rich and tart Goji berry gets a bit lit by bathing in a Greek liqueur called Mastic before mixing with sweet lemon rind preserves. Those bites of candied and tipsy fruit get kneaded into the sweet and buttery Challah bread dough before it gets coated with kisses from granulated sugar and orange zest and baked up. The final result is a light airy and fluffy bread thats infused with flavor. It can be eaten in the morning, toasted and with a dab of butter or top it with raw almond butter and honey for a decadent morning rise.

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