100% Whole Grain Challah

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100% Whole Grain Challah

Course: Breads
Author: Clémence Gossett
Why on Earth wouldn’t you bake up a tall, lovely Challah with the most flavorful flours on the planet? Give this recipe a try (we used stone ground flours from Grist & Tollin Pasadena) using the best flour your can get your hands on. Hint: the best flours you can find are always stone ground, unbleached and rarely at eye level on your grocer’s shelves.
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Ingredients

100% Whole Grain Challah

  • 5 tsps Active dry yeast 14g
  • 1-1/2 cups Water 360g
  • 2/3 cup Honey
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil grapeseed is also good
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2-1/3 cups Spelt 300g
  • 3-3/4 cups + 2 Tbsps 500g Hard white whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat)
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 Egg whites for egg wash later

Instructions

  • Place all of your ingredients (except the egg whites and herbs & seeds) in the bowl of a stand mixer, starting with your liquids and ending with the salt. Knead with the dough hook attachment for 5 minutes on medium high speed.
  • Cover and let the dough rise for 1-1/5 hours (a little longer in the winter).
  • Very lightly coat your counter and your hands with flour. Divide the dough in half and set one half aside while you braid the other.
  • Using one half of the dough at a time, divide into however many strands you like. You can do a traditional braid with three strands or go up to 8! Once the dough is braided, place it on a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet, or curve around a ramekin- do what you like!
  • Repeat with the second loaf. Let these both proof for about 45 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Brush each loaf with egg whites and, if desired, sprinkle with seeds and/or herbs (I use white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, fennel seeds and poppy seeds). Bake immediately for about 30 minutes.
  • Bonus: If you baked a ramekin around the bread and want a lovely dip, mix together 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1 bunch finely chopped parsley, juice of half a lemon and a touch of sea salt and pepper.