Recipe details

Denise says:

I thought that I would share my personal challah.
  •  ‘Challah’ meaning ‘offering’ is welcome with any meal and its egg enriched dough produces a wonderful fluffy texture.
  • Try adding a teaspoon of cinnamon for a change and this is delicious! The term challah also refers to a small piece of dough that is traditionally separated from the rest of the dough before baking.
  • This piece of dough is separated in memory of the portion of dough that was set aside as a tithe for the Jewish priests (Kohanim) in the Temple.
  • This is then burnt in the oven when the Challah is baked. The mitzvah (good deed) of separating the Challah is one of the three mitzvot performed especially by women (the others are lighting the Shabbat candles and guarding family purity).
  • For best results, once cooked transfer to a baking rack so that the base does not go soggy!
  • Preparation Time:  10 minutes plus 2 hours rising time plus 20 minutes proving time
  • Cooking Time: 20 minutes
  • Makes: 2 loaves

Ingredients:

  • 600g strong white flour
  • 7g 1 packet active dried yeast
  • 2 tablespoons clear honey
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 50ml vegetable oil
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 200ml warm water
  • 2 egg yolks – to glaze
  • 4 teaspoons poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower or pumpkin seeds to decorate
 

Method

  • Mix together the yeast, salt and 100ml of the water.
  • Add this to the flour.
  • Mix this together slowly either by hand or in the mixer using a dough hook if available.
  • Add the honey, vegetable oil and beaten egg into the flour mixture.
  • Continue to knead the mixture until it is smooth and shiny. (You may need a little extra warm water subject to the size of the eggs.)
  • Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise for 2 hours in a warm place.
  • Knock back the dough. (Collapse the air out of the risen dough)
  • Divide the dough in half and then separate each one into 3 equal pieces.
  • Knead the dough gently before rolling out each piece to form a thin sausage.
  • Line up each thin sausage so that all cross over half way and start to plait by beginning at the middle and working towards you. Turn the dough around and complete the other side.
  • Press the ends together and tuck them neatly under the bottom. Line a baking tray with baking parchment paper.
  • Place the challahs on the tray. Glaze with egg glaze and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/ Gas mark 6.
  • Leave to prove for 20 minutes. (Proving is the second rising of the dough.)
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and sounding hollow when tapped on the base.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
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