This Maple Pumpkin Challah is a sweet, seasonal take on the classic. Sweetened with maple syrup and maple sugar, you get a softer and healthier loaf!
In a large mixing bowl, add your active dry yeast and warm water. Whisk gently together, and let sit for 10 minutes. The yeast should bubble and activate.
Add canned pumpkin, Coombs Family Farms Pure Maple Syrup, eggs, grapeseed oil, Coombs Family Farms Maple Sugar, and salt to the bowl. Whisk together until well combined.
Add in flour, one cup at a time, mixing the batter until well combined after each cup. (I usually use a whisk for the first 3 cups, then switch to a wooden spoon or my hands for the last cups!)
Once the dough is shaggy and holds together, generously flour a surface and your hands. Transfer the dough to your surface and knead for about 10 minutes, adding just enough flour to keep it from sticking to your hands or the surface.
Form the dough into a ball. Grease a large bowl with grapeseed oil, and transfer the dough into the bowl. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for two hours. (It should double in size.)
After 2 hours, transfer the dough to a floured surface. Use a rolling pin to gently roll the dough into a rough rectangle. Cut the dough into six even sections. Use your hands to roll each section into a 12-18" rope.
Connect the ends of three ropes together by pressing them into one strand. From there braid the three ropes over each other until there is no more length to braid. Press the opposite ends together, and tuck each end under to make a nice looking loaf. Do this same thing for your second loaf.
Transfer loaves onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If you are placing them on the same tray, make sure there is at least 3-4" between the loaves. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375.
In a small bowl whisk together your egg yolk and water. Use a basting brush to brush eggwash onto the loaves, covering the whole surface. Sprinkle each loaf with a generous amount of maple sugar.
Bake for 28-32 minutes (check after 28 minutes!)
Once baked, transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool slightly before slicing.
Serve with butter, plain, or make some delicious french toast out of it.