After posting my menu and party recap, not surprisingly most people seemed to be captivated by the bread pudding. As a dessert first kind of girl, I am happy to oblige with this recipe first! The bread pudding was a several step process because I made the challah bread from scratch. I was unable to find dried pomegranate arils, and didn't know how the fresh, wet ones would react in this bread, so I went with pomegranate flavored Craisins. And I actually found the recipe for this on the Ocean Spray website, the makers of the pomegranate Craisins.
This makes two large loaves of challah, and I recommend keeping the recipe as is because this bread freezes well, and is great as leftover toast, french toast, or makes a wonderful hostess gift for a holiday dinner. I have photographed the several steps below!
Cinnamon n' Pomegranate-Cranberry Challah
1 c. warm water
2 envelopes active dry yeast
1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs, 1 divided
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. sald
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1 6 oz. package Craisins dried Pomegranate flavored Cranberries
1 tsp. water
Stir water, yeast and sugar together in a large mixing bowl, yeast should be foamy.
Attach paddle to mixer, add 3 eggs and 1 egg whtie (reserve yolk), oil, salt and cinnamon.
Beat until well mixed.
Stop mixer, add 5 1/2 c. flour, pulse mixer until flour is moistened.
Switch out paddle for the dough hook, turn mixer on low and knead for 5 minutes.
Add additional 1/2 c. flour, if necessary.
Remove dough and place on a floured surface, knead in Craisins.
Form dough into a ball, place in an oiled bowl, cover and rise for an hour.
Punch dough down and divide in half.
From each half, form three separate ropes of about equal size.
Form into a braid and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Cover with a towel and allow braids to rise for another hour.
Preheat oven to 400*.
Beat egg yolk and water in a dish, brush on loaves with a pastry brush.
Place in the oven and bake for 12 minutes, rotate and flip, then bake for an additional 12 minutes.
Cool to room temperature and store wrapped in plastic.
Risen dough ball before being separated in half:
Forming into a braid:
The first braided bread:
Before the second rise:
After the second rise, you might need to re-tuck ends in after second rise: