Greetings! We’re one day away from the year 5775!* If you’re reading this from the year 2014, my goodness, life has changed.
First off, I know you think standing in a gold and lapis encrusted chariot is impressive, but I’ve got a chariot made from metals you’ve never even mined and pulled by invisible horses. I call it a Toyota Matrix.
Second, I know you love drinking fermented barley through a straw, but you haven’t lived until you’ve tasted pumpkin pie spiced apple cider. Er, I don’t have time to explain what a pumpkin is. Or a pie. Look, have a six pack on me. Oh, those bottles are made from something called glass. We plug up our windows with it so we can look outside without letting all the heat out of our houses. No, the houses don’t fill up with smoke and kill our children. We’ve got something called electricity that, er, it’s kind of like grabbing a lightning bolt and making it obey our commands. I don’t really have time to explain, not if I want to get to the third thing.
The third thing, and this is really important, Hammurabi – yes, more important than killing the king of Mari. Yes, more important than anything to do with the Egyptians. Give that up, dude. They’ll still be around after your entire kingdom is buried in sand. The third thing is – oh, hey, honey. I’m just tinkering around here in the garage. I don’t know what happened to the cider you bought. Five more minutes, okay? I just need to shut this thing down before I collapse the space time continuum. Yes, of course I’m joking. I’ll be right in. Okay, what was I saying? Hammurabi? Are you still there? Damn.
Rosh Hashanah Apple Horn Recipe
1 ½ cups water
1 tbsp active dry yeast
4 tbsp honey
½ cup oil
6 ½ cups bread flour
2 tsp salt
4 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and cubed
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
Start by resurrecting the yeast in a bath of warm water. Give it 10-15 minutes to really wake up, then throw it a surprise party by adding in the honey. In fact, make that party wild by dumping in the eggs, oil, and salt, then whisking it all together.
Once you have a wild broth, add the flour, ½ cup at a time, until your liquids have magically transformed into a dough-like solid. You want it to be be slightly tacky but not sticky.
If you have a stand mixer, attach your dough hook and let it knead away on your behalf for 6-8 minutes. If you’re kneading by hand, go at it for 8-10 minutes. Either way, once you’ve achieved stretchy glutenous goodness, put a towel over it and let it rise for an hour.
While you’re waiting for your dough to rise, prepare the filling. Apples and honey are traditional ways to bring sweetness to your new year, and this recipe has plenty of both.
Peel and core your Granny Smith (or other tart) apples. Cut the remainders into dice sized cubes. If they’re too big, you’ll end up with weirdly crunchy apples with mushy exteriors.
Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until they’re one beautifully scented mass. Add the cubed apples. Drizzle the honey and oil over them. Now get in there with your hands and really work it until every piece of apple is completely covered with the tasty sugar and spice mix.
Wash your hands and set the filling aside.
Once your dough finishes rising, punch it down. Lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough into a big rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half, because this makes two loaves.
Spread half your apple mix on each rectangle. Now tightly roll them up, cinnamon-roll style, and pinch the ends closed. Coil them both into turban shapes. Generously oil up two round 9 inch cake pan and put one turban in each.
Cover them up with clean kitchen towels and let them rise for another 45-60 minutes, or until double in size. (It’s hot where I live, so bread has a tendency to rise faster.)
Since this is for Rosh Hashanah, I like to sprinkle even more brown sugar and cinnamon on the top to make a nice, sweet crust.
Preheat your oven to 350F. Tent some aluminum foil over the top of both loaves. Bake for 15 minutes covered then for another 15 minutes uncovered. (If you don’t cover them in foil for the first half, the tops of your loaves will burn.)
Apples, honey, and round challah are traditional for Rosh Hashanah, but you can use the same recipe to make a doughy apple strudel or other filled bread. Have fun with it.
* Shana Tova to all my Jewish readers! For anyone else who wonders what that craziness was all about, this is the first day of the year 5775 in the Jewish calendar. Subtract 2014 and you’re left with a 3761 year difference. If a time traveler today wanted to brag about how much life had improved in the last 3761 years, they’d be boasting to Hammurabi. I’m not saying I have a time travel machine in my garage, but I can write in both Sumerian Cuneiform and Latin. Draw your own conclusions.
Need some Hobbity goodness in your life? Check out our preview recipes for the new Hobbit cookbook, available in hardback November 1st!
40 of the recipes have vegan variations – which means plenty of parve for your geeky meals!