Sourdough challah recipe – Easy celebratory Jewish bread

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  1. Martha M Bautista-Biddle Reply

    Hi! I have made this three times. Twice, completely by the book. Both of those times resulted in a DELICIOUS loaf, but with little-to-no braid definition. The first time I thought it was because I had braided badly, but after practicing and doing it again, I think it has more to do with the extended raise after braiding. For my third try, I changed a few things. Kept all the ingredients the same, but did a bulk rise for 5 hours, braided it, and then let the shaped loaf proof for two hours. This resulted in much tighter braid definition, and more of a classic (non-sourdough) challah shape. Just wanted to let you know 🙂

    • You need to work your gluten more. Make sure the dough passes the windowpane test 🙂

  2. Jean Reply

    The hydration for this challah is not in the 55% to 60% range. If you are getting that high a count for your percentage, you are counting ingredients that are not part of hydration, as they do not hydrate the flour. Oil, honey and eggs do not count towards the hydration percentage. The only ingredients that count towards calculating the hydration percentage is water/flour in the levain, the flour and water added to the dough.

    53g mature SD = 26.5 Water + 26.5 Flour
    150g bread flour
    76g water
    413g bread flour
    62g water

    ((26.5 + 76 + 62) / (26.5 + 150 + 413)) = 27.9%

    • Please reread what I wrote. I said you cannot effectively calculate the hydration, but it feels like a bread in the 55-60% range 🙂

  3. Meribeth Reply

    What do you mean by neutral oil? Also, any specific type of honey you recommend?

  4. Brenda Reply

    Can you bulk ferment in the fridge? When do you know the bulk ferment is over?

    • Yes, and it’s the same as at room temperature. When the dough has grown 25% 🙂

  5. Fafi Reply

    Thank you for the recipe.
    Can I bake the next day I proof and shape the dough?

    • Yes, let it proof for about 3 hours and then put it in the fridge until the next day.

      Be aware that the bread may be tangier.

  6. Lindsey Tulk Reply

    If I don’t have honey on hand and want to sub in sugar how much should I use ?

    • Use about the double amount of granulated sugar and add about 10 grams of water.

  7. Sune, I love this recipe! I tried it yesterday and it turned out perfect, OMG it was amazing. The video was so helpful, as I couldn’t imagine how to do the braids, but as soon as I saw it, it was so obvious and easy. I love the bit of sourdough tang in the aftertaste. I might add a tiny bit more honey or a stronger honey just to give it a touch more flavour. We lean towards a very mild clover honey here in urban North America and I’m thinking maybe your bees produce something different in Denmark! Thank you so much!
    Tunde Nemeth

    • Yes, we have some very nice honey here in Denmark. I get one from a local producer 🙂

  8. Jan Reply

    This is a wonderful recipe. The directions are thorough and spot on. It is the best and easiest sourdough bread I have made so far. Thank you for the detailed, easy to follow, precise instructions.

  9. Dan L Reply

    The weight of water is different in the top section vs the directions at bottom. How many grams of water for the stiff levain here?

    • There’s a bit extra in the recipe, so that you are sure you have 207g when you need it 🙂