Hello hello fellow bread-fanatics! Today we have a soft, giant loaf of Challah topped with a mix of black and white sesame seeds..which if you regularly follow me...this is my latest "topping" obsession.
This challah recipe has worked 4 times now without fail, and gets prettier every time! For this round I attempted a 6 strand braid..which worked for a bit but then the YouTube video I was following was going so fast that I couldn't keep up. I was rushed for light in my kitchen so I sorta winged the end bit haha. Despite the imperfect braid..it looks and tastes AMAZING. This loaf comes together in about 4 hours which is excellent for those of us who don't always plan ahead. This recipe will give you 1 giant loaf, or you can split dough into two smaller loafs. This is excellent if you're looking to keep one and share one with a friend.
Original recipe is from King Arthur and can be found here.
I hate buying honey at the store because it's either super expensive, or the crappy kind. Above are two different honeys a couple different friends have recently gifted me. I used a couple TB of the light colored honey in this recipe and cut down on the sugar. Washington State and Canadian Bees: THANK YOU. Anywaysss enjoy and please tag me on instagram if you make some! #myflourythings
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM KING ARTHUR
MAKES 1 LARGE LOAF, 2 SMALL OR 3 TINY
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup lukewarm water
2 t. yeast
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used about 1 cup of whole wheat, the rest white)
1 3/4 t. salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter or veggie/coconut oil
2 large eggs + 1 yolk (save 1 egg white for the glaze, below)
1 egg white, saved from above
1 t. sugar
1 TB. water
sesame or poppy seeds, optional
First make your starter by mixing starter ingredients from above: 1 cup flour, 1 cup water and yeast in a large bowl. I mixed mine up in the bowl of my kitchen aid mixer. Let the mixture sit for about 45 minutes.
- Add all dough ingredients from above to the yeast starter from step 1 and mix. I set my mixer on low and slowly added flour until all was incorporated. I then removed dough and worked it a tiny bit with floury hands and surface until it was no longer sticky. The butter in this dough makes it so nice and silky to work with.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and roll around to coat most sides with a bit of oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours, or until it's not quite doubled in size.
4. Once risen, turn the dough out onto a floury surface and using floury hands, fold it over once or twice and reshape. Divide the dough into three, four, six or however many strands you're wanting to braid. Arrange like an octopus, squishing together the top ends.
5. On a floury surface, braid your dough using braid method of choice. If you're brand new to working with dough, or don't feel comfortable doing complicated braiding, stick to a standard 3 strand braid. Once finished place on your baking surface. I attempted a 6 strand for the first time.
6. Make the glaze by mixing together an egg white, sugar, and water. Brush the loaf, saving the rest for a 2nd post rise brushing.
7. Cover loaf with lightly greased plastic wrap and a towel and allow it to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until it's almost doubled in size. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F.
8. Once ready to bake, brush the loaf with the remaining egg wash (this will give the finished loaf a beautiful, shiny crust, as well as provide "glue" for the seeds), sprinkle or 'dab' with seeds of choice and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the challah is golden brown, slightly firm to the touch, and the internal temperature is 195°F.
9. Remove the bread from the oven, and cool completely before slicing. Store once cool in ziplock bag. Tastes great as french toast after the 2nd or 3rd day!!!