Ingredients

Challah:

  • ¾ cup warm water (110 degrees F, warm bathwater temperature)
  • 1 package Instant yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ cup olive or avocado oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Filling:

  • 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 4 Dr. Praeger’s spinach cakes, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 ½ teaspoons oregano
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted in a dry frying pan
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Garnish:

  • 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Directions

Serves: 8
Cook Time: 2 hours

  1. Prepare challah dough first. Add warm water to a large bowl. Sprinkle in yeast and stir to combine. Let sit 10 minutes to activate. Add eggs, sugar, and oil. Whisk well to combine. Begin to add all-purpose flour ½ cup at a time, stirring to combine. Mix together until dough is slightly sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead dough until it is smooth and uniform for about 5 minutes. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour in a warm space, or until dough has doubled in size.
  2. Cook Dr. Praeger’s spinach cakes according to package directions. Remove from oven and let slightly cool. Cut spinach cakes into quarters.
  3. To a medium bowl combine chopped spinach, spices, garlic, pine nuts, ricotta cheese, and flour. Mix to combine. Fold in spinach cakes. Cover filling and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Prepare the challah: separate dough into 3 even sections. For each section, roll out dough with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface into a 12×6-inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 filling moderately on the dough. Starting at one long end, tightly roll dough and transfer to parchment paper lined baking tray, seam-side down. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough and filling. Carefully braid together the 3 pieces of dough. Cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for an additional 20-30 minutes.
  6. Brush loaf with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until challah is golden brown and slightly puffy.
  8. Slice and enjoy!