10 Apr The Glorious Challah Bread
Challah bread is a wonderful Jewish braided bread consumed on special occasions and holidays. It is soft, flavourful and goes with almost anything, butter, jam, cheese, ham, you name it. I have freshly learnt this at school a few days ago, so the recipe is piping hot =D
It might look daunting but its not! Trust me, what you see here is my first attempt at baking Challah and it turned out perfect! I hope you’ll try baking this bread & am sure you will love this homemade goodness.
What you need for a big loaf, sufficient for 4-6 persons
Bread Flour – 300g
Salt – 6g
Semi-dry Yeast – 6g
Butter – 45g
Eggs – 75g
Water – 75g
Honey – 30g
- Mix the wet ingredients – eggs, water and honey.
- Add the yeast.
- Add the wet ingredients to the bread flour and knead well. Once the dough is formed, the aim is to get it smooth so keep kneading. A good trick is to ‘whack the dough’. Hold it from one end and whack it on your worktop, do this for at least 5 minutes. You will notice the dough coming together well and developing a smooth top.
- Now flatten the dough a bit and add the butter. Cover it from all sides and knead the butter in. Things will get messy! But persevere and keep kneading until the butter is all incorporated and the dough comes together. Continue ‘whacking’ for another 5-7 mins.
- Now take a small piece and stretch it to see if the dough is stretchable enough to form thin film without breaking also known as ‘Window Test’. If it breaks continue whacking or kneading. Once ready make a round ball, can be a rough one.
- Once ready take a deep bowl, place the rounded dough in it, cling the bowl and place it in the fridge for an hour.
- After an hour take the dough out and divide in 3 equal parts. Use a scale to measure correctly. Then roll each piece in 10 cm rods with smooth tops. This step is called Pre-shaping. This will ensure our final shape is good! So make sure your top-facing-dough in this mini-rod, is all smooth with no dents. Cover with cling wrap and let it rest for 10 mins.
- Roll it in 40 cm long rods and taper the ends. Do this with all three dough pieces. Important – Don’t overwork at this stage. Try to get the elongated rods in 1 or 2 attempts max!
- Now stick together the top and make a braid of the three dough rods sealing again at the end. Make sure you leave enough space in between for the dough to rise during final proofing and baking.
Warm Proofing & Baking
- Now is the second proofing time! Most critical to get a great soft rounded Challah! Spray some warm water on the braided dough and place it in the oven for an hour and half. Make sure there is enough humidity for proofing to occur. You may place a small bowl of water in the oven for this or keep spraying water on the dough every 20 mins.
- After the dough has risen enough (when you lightly press, the dough must spring back) – Sprinkle some white sesame and Bake it! At 180 deg for about 13mins or until nice golden brown on the top.
- Let your Challah cool then brush some melted salted butter for added flavour. Cut and serve fresh!
Challah goes great just with butter and jam or you may cut a thick slice for a yummy French toast, which is what I did!
Just beat eggs with a pinch of vanilla extract (I used vanilla sugar), cinnamon powder, salt and full cream milk. Dip your thick toasts in this and pan fry with some butter and serve with cut fruits and honey. Perfect Sunday breakfast is ready!