Delicious and fluffy water challah, ideal for your perfect shabbat.
Challah is one for my favorite baking. I find the experience very relaxing even with the painful kneading sometimes. When I knead and braid, I clear my mind.
I like to add multi-grains to the dough. It gives a different texture and taste. It’s like a multi-grains bread but braided. I actually use this recipe to make small bread balls for the week and even pita bread.
Fresh yeast is the best. It will give an amazing smell to your bread. However dry yeast will make the trick, no worries. Sparkling water is also another trick I love to use. It’s probably the gas in the water that gives this challah a very soft inside. Honey is also a different component. Sugar is banned from my kitchen and I use only natural sweetener like honey. It’s delicious in this challah!
After dissolving the yeast and the water and mixing them with the other ingredients, you need to knead. If you have a machine that’s great, but it’s totally doable by hands! After 10 minutes of kneading, the dough should be super smooth, a bit sticky like adhesive strip: it’s sticky when you touch it but no dough stays on your finger.
To make the dough rising super fast, I create a steam room in my oven. I put a big bowl of hot water in the oven turned off and my dough in a big plastic bag. The dough should have double volume after one hour.
Then it’s time for Hafrashat challah. While the dough is still whole, recite the blessing and wrap the 1 oz. piece in foil and burn it.
Start braiding your dough. If you are looking for a 6 braids video, I made one here: 6 Braids Challah
After braiding, let rise for another hour so the braids won’t break in the cooking process.
Brush with beaten eggs. Bake at 360°F for 35min-45 min depending of the size of your bread.
- 5 lbs of flour
- ½ cup of honey
- 40g (1 cube) of fresh yeast - or 4 tbsp of dry yeast
- 3 tbsp of salt
- 5 cups of sparkling water
- ½ cup of olive oil
- Optional: 2 eggs for brushing
- Optional: 2 cups of oats, bran, and multi grains
- Dissolve yeast in sparkling water and let sit for 10 minutes
- In a large bowl mix sugar, honey and oil and start adding the flour, the yeast and sparkling water and the rest of the flour. Add oats and multigrains.
- The dough should be super easy to mix.
- Add the salt at the end.
- After 10 minutes of kneading, the dough should be super smooth.
- Place the dough in plastic bag and in oven turned off.
- After one hour, the dough should have doubled in volume.
- Braid and let rise one hour again.
- Optional: Brush with beaten eggs.
- Bake at 360°F for 35 to 45 minutes depending of the size of your challah.