How to Make a Simple Round Apple Challah for Rosh Hashana

Last year, I shared my favorite apple challah recipe, which admittedly is a bit patchkied. But since Rosh Hashana only comes once a year, I figured it was worth it. Recently, though, a reader asked if I couldn’t just make the dough in the bread machine.

Which got me thinking…

You know, we love our bread machine challah – and it’s definitely a lot easier than making the dough by hand. So, I decided to give it a shot.

Then, I further simplified things by using a much faster and easier technique for making a round challah: Balls of dough. I just lay them into a flower formation in a round baking dish and let them rise together, then bake.

This method is so simple and, while not as impressive as a braided round challah, definitely more fun for a pull-apart crowd.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, let me take this step-by-step.

1. Put up the dough recipe for my Bread Machine Challah, adding in a bit of extra brown sugar for an even sweeterย  bread than normal. Program the machine to the dough setting, which should take about 90 minutes.

2. While the bread machine is doing its thing, wash and peel two or three apples. Roughly chop them – they shouldn’t be perfect and it’s definitely okay to have them be a bit on the chunky side.

3. Toss the apples with a good amount of cinnamon sugar and set aside. The sugar will help pull the juice out of the apples, making the apple stuffing sweet and syrupy.

4. When the dough machine beeps, take out your dough and divide into two balls.

5. Roll out one ball into a log and flat gently with the palm of your hand. Spoon out the apple mixture along the center of the flattened log. Pinch the side together to enclose the apple.

6. Gently roll the log again to round it out a bit, then use a serrated knife to cut even sections about every two-inches.

7. Roll each section into a ball, tucking in any apple pieces that might be sticking out.

8. Spray a round baking dish with vegetable spray. You can use a small or large dish, but the larger the dish, the more balls of dough you will need to fill it. Lay the balls into the pan in a flower pattern, with the biggest ball in the middle.

10. Cover the pan lightly with a towel and let rise for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile repeat these steps with the other half of dough. Then brush an egg coating over the top, and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar.

12. Bake in a 350ยฐ oven for 20-30 minutes until done. I like to slightly under-bake my challot, just by a minute or two, so they are nice and soft.

13. Cool on a wire rack; if you won’t be serving the challah immediately, double wrap in plastic bags to keep it fresh. This will last about two days on the counter-top.


If you try this easy method, let me know how it turns out for you!


  1. I wonder how it would work if you used apple sauce in place of oil in a challah recipe. I think I am going to try it.

  2. I love the idea that you can make it in the bread machine. I can’t wait to try it. What a lovely challah for New Year.

  3. YUMMY! I will definately be tying this one!! I’d say the only thing missing is STRUESEL TOPPING!! It is amazing and will forever change your Rosh Hashana!

  4. I wonder if this would freeze well with the apples in it?

  5. 1. I think we have the same, if not similar, granite in our kitchens.

    2. Oh my goodness I cannot WAIT to try this out. I actually want to try this out tonight just to see how incredibly easy and yummy this is. Last year I made an apple challah completely from scratch (something I never do since I always make my challah dough in the bread machine) and I was crazy since I started that project on erev RH (was I taking drugs that day??) but it was tasty….but this challah recipe/technique sounds like the working mom’s DREAM!!!!

    Can’t wait to let you know how it turns out!!! Can’t wait to eat it!!!! (how much of this challah will equal a serving a fruit?)

    • LOL, I’m thinking you might have to eat half a challah for that serving of fruit ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I love our granite – don’t you love yours? Let me know how the challah works out for you!

  6. What would happen if you used apple pie filling?

  7. This recipe looks wonderful! I miss my bread machine, but I could put my baking boy to good use on this one. He can make good bread.

  8. I posted on the bread machine challah recipe post, but thought I would do it here as well. This year, I made this recipe for bread machine challah I made one version with applesauce instead of oil. I made another version with raisins. I made a third version exactly as is on the link above. I am making some as apple challah (first time ever to have apple challah!). I hope this works out well – my kids are excited!!!! Thanks, Mara!

  9. I made this for the first time for the kids at church. However, I’m not sure what the final consistency is supposed to be like. Mine came out very “heavy” much like a coffee cake. Is this right?

    • Did you use the breadmachine recipe for the challah part? I think heavy like coffee cake prob isn’t right. It should be a bread consistency when it’s finished cooking.

      • Yes, I did use the bread machine recipe, but it didn’t seem to rise much, and I didn’t know how much to expect it to rise since it was filled with apples…..not sure if that would make any difference

  10. This. Was. EPIC.


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