A wonderful fluffy, braided, and deeply caramelized enriched bread that is eaten at Shabbat and other Jewish and other significant holidays or by anyone who loves delicious bread
about 4 large
neutral flavored oil
e.g. rapeseed, peanut, sunflower
Making the stiff levain - the evening before
Mix everything for the levain build. Knead it so that it's thoroughly 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 reached its peak. It takes somewhere around eight to twelve hours.
Mixing the dough - around 8:00/8a.m.
In a large bowl add
g oil and
g honey. Mix it 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 a bit of flour. If it seems to dry, knead in water by the tablespoon.
Bulk fermentation - around 8:30/8:30 a.m.
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 10:30/10:30 a.m.
You can bake this as a 1000g loaf or divide it into two smaller 500-gram loaves. You can divide them into 16 60-gram rolls if you want to make challah 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 16:00/4:00 p.m.
Gauge the dough again. Poke the dough with a wet finger. The dough is ready to be baked, if it makes an indentation that doesn't spring back. If not, wait a bit more.
Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
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 15 minutes.
If your oven heats unevenly, you may want to turn the sheets halfway during baking, 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 them from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
https://foodgeek.dk/en/sourdough-challah-recipe/ - Sourdough Challah