Challah Plaited Loaf
Challah is typically baked by Jewish families for Sabbath and major holidays. It is traditionally made of dough from which a small portion is set aside as an offering.
Makes 2 loaves
Prep time 2 hours Bake time 30 minutes
• 500g bread flour
• 8g salt
• 75g sugar
• 10g instant dried yeast
• 1 egg
• 220ml water
• 100g butter, softened
• 20g sesame seeds
• 1 egg mixed with a dash of milk
» Preheat oven to 160°C.
» Place the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, egg and water into a large mixing bowl and combine the ingredients together until a dough mass has formed, then tip the dough out onto a work surface and knead for 5-8 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic in feel. » Add the softened butter gradually in 4-5 additions while still kneading and continue to knead for 15–20 minutes (taking a rest period of 60 seconds, every 2-3 minutes). » Lightly oil a bowl large enough to allow the dough to double in size, then put the dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place for 1 hour. » Gently knock back the dough, by carefully folding it back onto its self. Cover again with plastic wrap and leave for 30 minutes.
» Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a plastic dough scraper, divide the dough into 8 x 120g pieces. »Roll into balls, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest on the table for 15 minutes. Once the dough has rested, roll each piece into a 30cm long rope.
» Taking four ropes place them side by side to each other. Follow the sequence – 1 over 2, 2 over 3 and 4 over 2 repeated until you have created a 4 strand plait. Squeeze together the ends so they don’t unravel during the final rising. Repeat for second loaf.
» Place onto a prepared baking tray making sure to leave enough room in between each loaf to allow them to double in size.
» Cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof for 45 minutes in a warm, draught-free place. Use the indentation test to tell when the dough is fully proofed. »Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
» Place into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden.
» Remove from the oven and place onto a wire rack to cool.
Gray Shindig charger from Crate & Barrel. Other items, stylist’s own.