Make A Fruit Cake Challah For the Ultimate Holiday Mashup

Keith Cohen, owner of the 100-year-old Orwasher’s Bakery on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, created this fruit and nut studded ‘Holiday Challah’ as a sweet and light-hearted way to celebrate the holiday season. This bread has a beautiful interior that is sprinkled with color from the dried fruit and pistachios. The Holiday Challah is great as toast with tea or coffee or — even better — slice it thinly and bake the slices on a sheet pan until crisp, making a biscotti-like treat.

Recipe courtesy of “Orwashers Artisan Bread – 100 Years of Techniques and Recipes” by Keith Cohen.

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Fruit Cake Challah

The ultimate holiday mash-up.

  • Total Time: 7 hours 53 minutes
  • Yield: 4 loaves


  • 1.9 lb/861.8 g bread flour
  • 1.2 lb/544.3 g water
  • 0.25 lb/113.4 g egg yolks
  • 1 lb/45.36 g vegetable oil
  • 0.05 lb/22.68 g sugar
  • 0.04 lb/18.14 g salt
  • 0.03 lb/13.61 g instant yeast
  • 0.04 lb/18.14 g cranberries
  • 0.5 lb/226.8 g golden raisins
  • 0.35 lb/158.8 g pistachios
  • 0.18 lb/81.65 g orange zest


  1. Set up stand mixer with a dough hook. Place flour, water, egg yolks, oil, sugar and salt in mixing bowl.
  2. Mix on medium-low for 5 minutes, then mix on medium-high for 2 minutes.
  3. Add yeast.
  4. Mix on medium for an additional 6 minutes.
  5. Add cranberries, golden raisins, pistachios and orange zest. Mix on low until dry ingredients are combined into dough.
  6. Dough temperature should be between 76-78°F. Dough should appear shiny and pull away from the mixing bowl.
  7. Take the dough out of the mixing bowl and transfer to a lightly oiled airtight container. Let the dough rest on counter top for approx. 3 hours. Dough should double in size.
  8. Roll dough out of container onto a lightly floured work surface (marble or butcher block is ideal).
  9. Cut dough with a scraper into four even squares/rectangles, approx. 1.25 lb/567 g each. Shape each into a boule.
  10. Let dough rest 4 hours after shaping.
  11. Score and “X” in the top of the loaf.
  12. Preheat oven to 390°F.
  13. Bake for 33 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes + 7 hours resting
  • Cook Time: 33 minutes
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Holidays

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