This challah is probably not “politically correct” as I’m far away from being Jewish. I came across challah a few years back, and as I understand it, it is a loaf made with eggs and typically braided.
Here’s what goes in my loaf:
- 1/2 tablespoon of instant dried yeast (7g)
- 4 cups of high grade flour (I like using 1 cup for wholemeal flour)
- 1+1/2 teaspoons of salt
- 2 tablespoons of sugar, or 4 tablespoons if you like your challah a little on the sweeter side
- 2 tablespoons of milk power (optional, though this keeps the bread soft for longer)
- 50g butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (optional – it’s added for colour)
Follow these steps:
- Separate one egg and reserve the white.
- Combine everything in a large bowl, leaving one egg white out. Mix and knead for 15 minutes until soft and smooth. Add more water if too dry, add more flour if too sticky.
- Let it raise until double in size (~45 minutes).
- Punch it down and squelch the sides towards the middle.
- Take 1/3 of the dough, then divide this into 3 balls.
- Also divide the rest of the dough into 3 balls.
- Rest all the dough balls for 10 minutes.
- Roll 3 smaller ball of dough into roughly 40 cm long rolls.
- Braid the 3 rolls. First pinch the ends together. Bring the right roll to the left so it’s now in the middle. Then bring the left roll to the right so it’s now the middle. Repeatedly bring the right and left rolls to the middle until the braid is finished. Tuck both ends under to tidy the braid up.
- Roll 3 larger ball of dough into roughly 50 cm long rolls.
- Braid these rolls the same way.
- Add a teaspoon of water to the reserved egg white and lightly beat.
- Brush a little egg white onto the centre of the larger braid and place the smaller braid on top. Lightly press to stick the braids together. Keep the egg whites for later.
- Let the braided bread rise for 40 minutes until it’s roughly double in size. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- Very gently brush the egg white all over the braided bread.
- Bake for 40-60 minutes until it’s golden and sounds hollow when tapped.
It’s wonderful with a little honey or use it to make french toast! The texture of this bread really soaks up the milk and eggs for a scrumptious french toast!