In my friend Kerri, I have found a kindred foodie spirit. We both love cooking, try our very hardest to eat as healthily as possible (with the odd
daily slip up) and are constantly pinging emails back and forth about the new recipes we’ve tried from Honestly Healthy, Deliciously Ella and the like.
So when Kerri invited me over to bake some of her wholewheat challahs I was pretty excited. Boy oh boy did they not disappoint and she’s kindly let me share her amazing recipe here on SOTH.
Since the recipe calls for wholewheat flour I like to think that these challahs are moderately healthier then their white flour counterpart. Although, in truth, they still do contain a good amount of sugar so I can’t promise they’ll do wonders for your bikini bod. But, then again, I’ve always lived by the motto that calorie consumption on Shabbat just doesn’t count…
Makes four medium sized challahs.
2oz fresh yeast (for those who are residents of North London – you can get these from Kosher Kingdom in Golders Green) // 315g sugar // 500ml warm water // 1.5kg Hovis granary bread flour // 4 large eggs // 250ml sunflower oil // 1.5 tbsp salt.
Place the yeast in a large bowl with the sugar and 500ml of warm water. Pour over 500g of the flour to weigh it down – do not mix and leave for ten minutes – you should see the yeast bubbling up a little around the edges of the bowl.
Beat 3 of the eggs with the sunflower oil and add to the flour/yeast mixture. Mix well. Add the salt to the remaining 1kg of flour and slowly incorporate it into the mixture. Knead the dough until it’s no longer sticky to the touch – you can keep adding flour until it reaches the right consistency.
Roughly shape the dough into a ball and pop it back into the large bowl you were using for mixing. Cover and leave in a warm place for an hour and a half to rise.
Once your dough has risen, separate it into four even pieces. Take one of the pieces, split it into three and then roll each piece out into a long strand – approx 25cm – then plait it – I tend to tuck the ends under the challah so that they look neat. To stop the dough from sticking it helps to sprinkle some flour onto the surface you’re working on. Repeat the process with the other 3 pieces of dough.
Whisk your last egg and then brush it over top and sides of the challah – this will act as a glaze – and then sprinkle with a handful of cranberries and pumpkin seeds.
Preheat your oven to 180°C and bake the challahs on, trays lined with baking paper, for around 30min. You can tell if they’re cooked if you tap the bottom and it sounds hollow. I often cover the challahs with foil once they’re nicely bronzed (20min or so) to stop them from burning.
Since this recipe makes 4 challahs – I normally stick 2 of them in the freezer for the next time I’ve got guests over on a Friday night. They take an hour or two to defrost.