26 February 2012


Busy, busy, busy. That is my life in a nutshell and I like it that way. It does however get in the way of my baking time, but this weekend I had no choice. The snowy weather dictated my activities and I decided to try and bake one of my absolute favourite breads...Challah!

I wanted a soft, chewy and sweet bread. I have never attempted this kind of bread before but have definitely eaten my fair share. I found many a recipe online but the pictures showed a crumbly texture, which is exactly what I wanted to stay away from. Then I came across the recipe below and decided to go for it.

In my excitement, I learned a VERY important lesson...always read the ingredient list before you begin and double check your supply levels. I barely had the 3 cups of flour to begin with and so supplemented with whole wheat flour while cringing. Then I realised, I still needed 7 more cups! So, as the mixture rose, I had to make an impromptu trip to the grocery store in the messy winter weather! 

Nonetheless.... the loaves turned out pretty spectacular! I coated them in sugar for a sweet crunch.

Sweet Challah Bread
adapted from Divine Baking

10 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup fresh yeast
350g or 1 cup honey
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 eggs, beaten

1 egg, beaten
sugar for sprinkling
**Makes 2-3 loaves

Combine the yeast and honey in a bowl and slowly add the warm water and 3 cups of flour. Mix until combined and set aside for 30 - 45 minutes. This is where I ran to the grocery store!

Combine sugar, salt and olive oil to your mixture, and mix well. Then add the 3 eggs, the rest of the flour, 1- 2 cups at a time, until your dough is formed. I started this in my kitchen aid mixer, but the dough was just too heavy. I took it out and worked it with my hands instead. Once combined, place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap.  Let the dough rise for at least 2 hours and then punch it down. I repeated this twice.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Grab your dough and break it in half. Separate each half into three pieces and shape into three long rolls which you can braid. I attempted a six-roll braid above, but a three-roll would work just as great. Place braid onto your baking pan, brush it with egg mixture and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes at 350 and then for about 20-30 min at 300. Let cool and then ENJOY!
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