Traditionally Challah is a Jewish holiday bread, but for some reason it has become an Easter tradition at our house. Famous for it’s sweetened, egg-based dough and it’s lovely braided presentation, Challah is a great addition to any holiday meal. Since we are whole-grain enthusiasts, we rarely make Challah with plain white flour, instead we have adapted the recipe to utilize whole grains or whole grain blends. We enjoy Challah in its traditional braided form for holiday meals, but we also use the dough in several other ways. A whole grain version of Challah makes an excellent sandwich bread, and a mixture of white and whole wheat flour makes an excellent dough for either fruit or meat and cheese kolaches. Enjoy the recipe below. Take a picture of your Challah creation and put it on the Bethlehem Harvest Facebook wall or in the comments below!
4 cups warm water
1 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar or honey
4 large eggs
4 tsp vanilla
6 cups unbleached white flour, Prairie Gold white wheat flour, or a mixture.
3 Tbs yeast
3 tsp salt
2/3 cup gluten flour (if desired)
Let rise 10 minutes until yeast is bubbly and flour is hydrated.
Add enough additional flour to clean the bowl.
Kneed for 6 minutes in a Bosch Universal Mixer (8-10 minutes by hand).
To make a large braided loaf, use 1/3 of the dough divided into three pieces for braiding. Place on parchment to rise.
For sandwich bread, shape into 5 loaves (braid if desired) and place in pans to rise.
For Kolaches or Dinner Rolls, use 1/5 of dough to make one dozen dinner rolls or kolaches.
Let dough rise in greased pans 20 minutes
Brush with beaten egg yolk for darker, glossy crust.
Bake at 350 for 20 -30 minutes or until golden top and bottom. Remove from oven, cool completely.