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mini pumpkin challah copy.jpg


pumpkin challah

with Maple-Cinnamon Butter


Half Recipe

Yield: approx. 16-20 mini pumpkin challahs




11/2 cups    very warm water
3/4 cup        sugar
41/2 tsp       granulated yeast        

2 cups +    
5–61/2 cups  all-purpose unbleached white flour (or white whole wheat)

11/2 Tbsp     sea salt
1 tsp             cinnamon
dash             nutmeg
dash             ground cloves
11/2 tsp        pumpkin pie spice
2 large          eggs
1/3 cup         canola oil
1 tsp             vanilla extract
1 15-oz can  pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)

Challah glaze:
1 egg, well beaten with 1 tsp water

Challah topping:
cinnamon-sugar mix
pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

*There is a “Full" recipe included in the cookbook as well, which yields enough dough to separate challah with a blessing. This size dough requires separation of challah, but without a blessing. See page 320 in Rising! for more details about the mitzvah of separating challah.



In a large bowl, pour the very warm water.

Add the sugar and then the yeast. 
Allow a few minutes for the yeast to bloom.

Add the first part of the flour, the salt,
 cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and pumpkin spice mix and mix until a smooth batter forms.

Add the eggs, oil, vanilla, and pumpkin purée and stir again until smooth.

Gradually add the remaining flour, mixing with your hands or stand-mixer until the flour has fully incorporated into the dough. Be sure to add only as much flour as is needed to form a non-sticky workable dough.

Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until it springs back when lightly touched.

Pour 3–4 teaspoons of oil into the bowl. 
Turn the ball of dough around in the oil until the outer layer of the dough has been thinly coated.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a warm, damp dishcloth and place in a warm spot to rise.

Allow the dough to rise for 1.5–2 hours, until dough has doubled in bulk. Punch out some air and allow to rise for an additional hour.

Separate challah without a blessing. See page 320 of my cookbook for instructions.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Braid or shape the dough into mini pumpkins (see video here) and place on lined baking sheets.

Brush the challah with the egg glaze after shaping.

Allow the mini pumpkin rolls to rise for an additional 30 minutes.

Glaze rolls again and sprinkle with toppings if desired.

Bake at 350°F for about 20-25 minutes (for 5oz rolls; time will vary according to challah size). The challah is ready when its underside is brown and it sounds hollow when tapped.



Cinnamon-Maple Butter Spread


Yield: enough spread to fill a 12-ounce bowl

2 cups     unsalted butter or margarine, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup    maple syrup
1/4 cup    confectioners sugar
1 tsp        cinnamon
pinch       salt

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Mix with electric mixer until fluffy.

To achieve the look of the cinnamon butter in the photo on the facing page:

Fill the bowl 2/3 way full with the spread.

Put the rest of the spread into a cake decorating bag fitted with the star tip.
Working from the center outwards, create stars, one at a time, working in a circular pattern until the entire surface of the bowl’s interior has been filled.

Keep the spread refrigerated until ready to use so that it doesn’t melt and lose its shape.


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