I do lots of experimenting in the kitchen and my family has learnt to put up with it. Earlier this year, I went on a mission to find a new chulent. They went right along with the experiment. I like to cook weird vegetables and have even gone so far as to create a meatball recipe with no meat or tomatoes. They've stuck with me through it all, and have even learned to like some new foods.

But there is one thing I hadn't dared to mess with. Challah. I have been making the same homemade challah for years. It's eggy. It's sweet. It is just right. 

Yeast. Look carefully and you'll see my reflection!
My kids have warned me. "Ma," they say. "Experiment with anything you like. But DON'T mess with the challah. Don't experiment with it. Don't change the recipe. And whatever you do, don't make it healthy." 

Well, folks, I went and did it. I made my challah with part whole wheat flour this week. And it came out really nice. A bit more dense and earthy than the all-white challah. A lovely, healthier version of our favorite Shabbos bread.

Honey Wheat Challah
Makes 6 large loaves; 5 hours prep time

4.5 tablespoons dry yeast (5 small packets)
3 1/4 cups water
6 eggs
11 cups white flour
8 cups whole wheat flour (or use one 2-lb. bag)1/2 cup sugar
1 cup honey
3/4 cup oil
3 tablespoons Kosher salt

Mix the yeast and water together in a large mixing bowl. Add a drop of honey. Let sit for about 5 minutes till it starts bubbling.

Add the remaining ingredients. Mix well. If you're using a mixer (I use a Bosch mixer which handles five pounds easily), mix for about five minutes until smooth. If you're kneading by hand, it'll take more like ten minutes (sorry!) but you'll get such satisfaction it'll all be worth it. 

Find a warm toasty spot (I use my bedroom!) and let the dough rise for 1-2 hours, till doubled. Take challah, with a blessing. Braid into six or seven loaves (I make mine with four strands of dough), lay the loaves on baking sheets, and then let rise for another hour. 

Prepare an egg wash using 2 eggs and about 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the loaves with egg. Preheat the oven to 350* and once it's hot, bake the challah for about 45 minutes until golden. Let the Challah cool completely on cooling racks before wrapping in bags and using or freezing.

See my post on Yeast Spotting.

Linking this up to KOAB Recipe Exchange and Real Food Digest.