Saturday, April 2, 2011

Honey Wheat Challah



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.

20 comments:

  1. Rivky, you made a beautiful challah. I would be proud to have it on my table. Just make another three and I will be happy.

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  2. This looks great (and I have whole wheat flour to use up . . .). I have the magic mill and I have never totally gotten the hang of it--maybe I should have gone with the bosch!

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  3. Wow! looks great, just wanna try this,I think have all the ingredients in my pantry. Thanks , I like your post and photos.

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  4. This looks great, just wanna try the recipe! I think the kids will love it!

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  5. This looks fantastic! Thank you for sharing the recipe :).

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  6. The challah look great, I do a lot experiments with part whole grain challah doughs too and I find what works best for me is the sifted spelt flour, have you ever tried it?

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  7. Megi, spelt flour sounds intriguing. Will have to try that some time. Do you have a recipe?

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  8. Rivki,
    Your challah is a beautiful work of art! I haven't made a challah since I became gluten free. I am your newest follower. I would love it if you checked out my vegetarian recipe blog and followed back.

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  9. Do I have to bake them before freezing, or could I freeze the dough?

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  10. Rike, I have never tried freezing the dough but I know that people do that. I find them to be so perfect when frozen like this - baked and then frozen - I wouldn't mess with it. But let me know if you do try! :)

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  11. I love challah bread, but I have never managed to get my plaits looking as beautiful as yours! I will have to keep practicing. I love how you have used whole wheat flour in this recipe and I'm looking forward to trying it. Beautiful photographs by the way! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe with Let's Do Brunch. The linky is up again for this week so do hope you will come along and join in again!

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  12. That is one beautiful, rich loaf of bread! I've never seen a whole wheat challah before, but now I'm wondering why not. It's a brilliant idea.

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  13. I am about to mix up half a batch of your recipe tonight (erev Shabbat here in Australia!) I wish to make my own recipe for one loaf as well. I will let you know how it comes out.

    Shabbat Shalom,

    Leeba

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    1. Hi Leeba. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I hope it comes out wonderful. Please let me know! Shabbat Shalom.

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  14. Rivky! It is about an hour and 40 minutes before candle lighting but as I have a Hot Fudge Pudding Cake in the oven I thought I would drop you a quick line.

    I mixed up your challah dough last night. I halved the recipe as I have guests coming and wanted to make sure I had a regular challah as well.

    I had it in the bowl to rise at midnight (AU time) and went to bed. When I woke up, it was HUGE!!! I was able to make two large 4-braid challahs (challot??) from the dough and let them rise while I ran to the shops for some fresh vegetables.

    I baked them (as the regular challah was rising) and my house smelled So Good! They are beautiful, fat loaves and I can hardly wait to taste some. If they are nice and nutty and sweet, I will be thinking ahead for Rosh Hashanah!
    Thank you so much!

    Shabbat Shalom to you and your beautiful family.

    All the best,

    Leeba

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the update, Leeba. Yes, this dough does rise nicely. I hope it tastes as wonderful as it smells.

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