Choco­late, orange, car­da­mon chal­lah

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE - TAMI ISAACS PEARCE’S

Your kitchen will be filled with most beau­ti­ful aro­mas as this bakes.

Makes: 1 very large chal­lah

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

500g strong white bread flour plus flour to knead 40g caster sugar 10g fast ac­tive yeast 8g salt 40g sun­flower oil 1 whole egg plus 1 yolk Zest of 1 orange 1 tsp orange essence 300ml warm wa­ter I tsp ground car­da­mon 100g dark choco­late bro­ken into small pieces 1 egg, beaten with a lit­tle wa­ter (for egg wash)

METHOD

In a large bowl mix the flour and sugar. Add the yeast on one side of the bowl and the salt on the other. Make a well in the flour.

Beat the oil, the egg and yolk, the orange zest and essence and pour into the well. Add two thirds of the wa­ter and mix to form a sticky dough, adding the rest of the wa­ter grad­u­ally if the mix­ture seems dry. If it is too wet add a lit­tle more flour.

Lightly flour the counter and start to knead the dough, stretch­ing it and bring­ing it back to­wards you.

Knead well by hand for at least eight min­utes un­til the dough is silky smooth and elas­tic.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for up to 40 min­utes or un­til the dough has dou­bled in size.

Tip onto counter and gen­tly flat­ten with your hands. Now sprin­kle on the car­da­mon and choco­late pieces. Knead them into the dough, fold­ing it over re­peat­edly and press­ing down so the choco­late and spice are well dis­trib­uted.

Re­turn the dough to the bowl and cover for a fur­ther 10 min­utes.

Now di­vide it into 3 equal pieces (weigh them if you like) and let them rest for 10 min­utes.

Oil the counter lightly and us­ing a rolling pin roll out three long strips. Roll each strip into a smooth rope ta­per­ing slightly at each end.

Join the three ropes at one end and make a plait which should be tighter at the ends and looser in the mid­dle. Leave as a long loaf or twist the plait into a cir­cle.

Place on a parch­ment cov­ered tray, cover and leave in a warm place for a fur­ther 40 min­utes or un­til al­most dou­bled in size while you pre­heat your oven to 200°C.

Care­fully brush with egg wash and bake in the cen­tre of the oven for about half an hour. Your chal­lah will be a glossy dark golden brown but do check the un­der­side is also browned and baked well.

Leave to cool on a wire rack. Tami Isaacs Pearce is a baker and the owner of Karma Bread, 13 South End Road, Lon­don NW3 2PT

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