A wonderful fluffy, braided and deeply caramelized enriched bread that is eaten at Shabbat and other Jewish and other major holidays or by anyone who love delicious bread
mature sourdough starter
about 4 large
neutral flavored oil
e.g. rapeseed, peanut, sunflower
Making the stiff levain - the evening before
Mix everything in inm the levain build together. Knead it so that it's completely mixed.
Put it in a glass container and press it flat.
Put an elastic band around the container where the top of the levain is, so you can monitor how much it grows.
Leave it to grow the night over until it's grown to its peak. It takes somewhere around eight to twelve hours.
Mixing the dough - around 8:00/8am
In a large bowl add
g oil and
Mix it together until the salt has dissolved.
g bread flour by hand until you have a shaggy ball.
g of the stiff lavain and knead by hand until you have a firm and smooth dough. About 8-10 minutes.
The dough should be tacky, but not sticky. If it seems a bit too wet, knead in bit of flour. If it seems to dry, knead in water by the tablespoon.
Bulk fermentation - around 8:30/8:30am
Place the dough in a clean bowl and let it ferment somewhere warm for 2 hours. It will probably not rise at all. This is fine.
Shaping and final proof - around 10:30/10:30am
You can bake this as a large 1000g loaf or divide it into two smaller 500 gram loaves. If you want to make challah rolls you can divide it into 16 60 gram rolls.
Braid or shape the dough. Watch my video to see how you do a classic Challah shape.
Cover with plastic wrap and let proof until tripled in size. About 5 hours.
Around 4½ hours into the proof, gauge the dough. If it's almost tripled and when poked the dough only springs back a little, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
Baking - around 16:00/4:00pm
Gauge the dough again. Stick a finger lightly in the dough. If it makes an indentation that doesn't spring back, the dough is ready to be baked. If not, wait a bit more.
Make an egg wash by mixing an egg with a pinch of salt.
Brush the bread with the egg wash.
Sprinkle with the topping(s) of your choice. I used sesame seeds.
Baking a large loaf takes about 40 minutes, smaller loaves take about 30 minutes and rolls take about 15 minutes.
If your oven heats a bit unevenly, you may want to turn the sheets halfway during the bake, to get even browning.
For the bread to be done, the internal temperature should be around 99°C/210°F.
When the loaves/rolls are done, remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
https://foodgeek.dk/en/sourdough-challah-recipe/ - Sourdough Challah