Avocado Challah Two Ways: Braided Loaf and Nutella Morning Rolls
There is a universal law that when you buy three or more unripe avocados, they will all ripen at precisely the same time. I was sucked in by the relatively low price of avocados at Costco ($5.99 for 6! They are usually around $2 each here) and found myself with five simultaneously ripe avocados yesterday. It was an embarrassment of riches we knew would be spoiled soon, so we had an avocado party. Avocado toast, cubed avocado for the little guy, avocado omelette, and my favorite, an avocado-mango smoothie. We still had two avocados to go.
So, I started to think about what you could substitute avocado for, and my mind jumped to butter/oil. I had never done it before, but it was worth a try. I tried my hand at challah for the first time over the holidays, and I found it much easier than I expected. The eggy, rich bread which sometimes calls for butter, sometimes vegetable oil, depending on who you ask, seemed like the perfect home for my extra avocados. I let the dough rise once in the Instant Pot , and then divided it; a third for a braided loaf, and two thirds to try an idea I had while the dough was rising: Nutella morning rolls.
I am obsessed with breakfast baked goods, mostly because my husband and I have been regular coffee shop patrons for many years, and having a fancy pastry to accompany my coffee recreates the best part of that experience for me at home. It’s rare that a recipe comes out right the first time, but the only problem I had with these is the rose so much more the second time than I expected, I should have used a 9×12″ pan for the rolls. That being said, they came out better than I dared hope they would. Recipe after the photos.
Avocado Challah Recipe
- 4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1/4 cup pure cane sugar
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- two eggs
- one egg yolk, reserve white for egg wash
- half a ripe avocado
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 cup warm water
Mix all dry ingredients in a medium-large bowl. In the blender, mix the eggs, egg yolk, and avocado until smooth. Add all wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. If using a stand mixer, mix for about two minutes with a dough hook, until you have a sticky dough that bounces back quickly when you poke it. If you knead by hand it will be about 8-10 minutes of work.
Fold into a tight ball. If you have an Instant Pot you can use the yogurt function to proof the dough for 60 minutes. If not, turn your oven to 350°F and allow it to preheat for 2 minutes. Turn your oven off, place your dough in an oven safe bowl on a middle rack, and place a damp tea towel on the rack above it, and allow dough to double, 60-90 minutes. Punch dough down, and shape as desired. For my challah I did a simple 3 cord braid and rolled it into a circle. For the rolls you can see my directions in my cinnamon rolls post.
I didn’t measure the Nutella or add anything to it, I just spread some over the rolled out dough until it was mostly covered. The finished rolls aren’t oozing with hazelnutty goo, they just have a nice flavor and add a little extra moisture. You could really stuff these with anything; I want to make a batch with cranberry sauce and chevre. They could easily go savory, the dough isn’t too sweet.
Once you have shaped your creations in the form of your choice, allow them to rise a second time, following my directions above for rising in the oven. If you are going to do an egg wash (I did in the loaf but not the rolls) do it now before the dough rises a second time. Once they have doubled again, about 30-40 minutes, remove them from the oven and preheat to 350°F. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes, or until golden and edges are just starting to brown. Cool on a cooling rack at least 30 minutes before serving.
I would love to hear what you do with this dough! Since it’s completely dairy free it could make a great treat for someone with a dairy allergy. It came out so fluffy and beautiful, not too sweet, just perfect for a snack with your coffee or tea. Maybe make a batch of rolls to share on Valentine’s day?