In a small bowl, whisk to combine the warm water, yeast, and a pinch of granulated sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes or until foamy.
1 cup warm water, 2 tsp active dry yeast
While the yeast is proofing, place the flour, sugar, and salt in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk to combine. Form a well in the center of the mixture and add the eggs, the yolk, and the oil. Whisk the wet ingredients, slowly integrating a little of the dry ingredients until a paste forms.
4 cups all-purpose flour, ¼ cup granulated sugar, 1 tbsp kosher salt, 2 large eggs, 1 egg yolk, ¼ cup neutral oil
Add the yeast mixture and click the bowl into a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Mix the dough until it cleans the sides of the bowl and is tacky but not sticky to the touch. **
Transfer the dough to a floured surface and kneed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place the dough in a bowl greased with neutral oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for an hour and a half or until doubled in size.
Punch the dough down and form it into a ball once again. Return the plastic wrap to the bowl and transfer the dough to the fridge and leave it to proof overnight.
For the Apples
Once the dough is in the fridge, start the Rosé Poached Apples. Pour the wine into a large saucepan and add the honey, stir to combine. Add the apples, cinnamon stick, and star anise. Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until the apples are tender.
6 Honeycrisp Apples, ¾ bottle rosé, ¼ cup honey, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 star anise pods
Transfer the apples to a resealable container and pour the remaining poaching liquid over top. Transfer to the fridge and chill overnight.
Take the challah dough out of the fridge 1 hour prior to forming the tarts. Once the dough has reached room temperature and risen slightly, punch the dough down again. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll it out to a 1/2 an inch thickness.
Using a biscuit cutter, punch out 12 circles. You may have to roll out the scraps a couple of times to get the full 12. Using a rolling pin, expand each circle a little to accommodate the apples. Place a poached apple half in the center of each challah circle. Transfer the tarts to two large baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Cover with tea towels and let rise for an hour and a half.
When you’re an hour into the rising time, preheat the oven to 400°F. Once the tarts have been proofed, whisk to combine the egg white and water. Brush the challah dough with the egg white mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
1 egg white, 1 tbsp water, sesame seeds
Transfer the tarts to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden, rotating the baking sheet once halfway through. Take the tarts out of the oven and immediately brush the apples with honey. Let cool for 10 minutes before decorating the tarts with the fresh bay leaves and transferring to a platter. Serve warm with tea, coffee, or something stronger.
¼ cup honey, 12 bay leaves
** You may need to add a little extra flour to get your dough to this point. If you do, be sure to add it in 1/4 cup increments, so you only add as much as you need.