Whole Grain Challah

(Eric) #1

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(sueyeisert) #2

There is no oil in the written recipe but the video mentions oil. I have never seen a challah recipe without oil. Please clarify recipe.

(Eric) #3

It’s listed under the wet ingredients. 20g (1 1/2 Tbs).

(Melissa) #4

I’m excited to make this challah. I had to hold myself back this weekend because I had lots of other bread going on.

I’ve a question about flour since I don’t have a mill. How is the Breadtopia select bolted flour compared to the flour you make in the video? (Apart from that the select has protein added, like bread flour. And you milled hard white spring in the video, and the select is hard red spring.)

I’m more referring to the fine milling of the bran. Is that what happens in the Breadtopia select flour?


(Eric) #5

Hi Melissa,

The Breadtopia Select flour will be a fair bit finer than what I used in the video for 2 reasons. The flour we sell on our site is milled on a commercial mill with much larger stones which mills finer flour than what you can get on a home mill. Plus the Breadtopia Select is bolted, so a significant amount of the course bran is sifted out completely. The bran is not double milled and recombined.

The protein level on the Breadtopia Select is still going to be high (about the same as the hard white). So it’s an excellent choice for Challah and you would likely get excellent results. If you use it, you’re probably going to want to use less water since you’ll have less thirsty bran to hydrate. I would probably start with 95g of water and see how the dough feels. Hopefully you can get a sense for the dough stiffness from the video. It’s pretty stiff. Just getting in the ballpark is probably going to be totally fine.

(Melissa) #6

Thank you! I’m so curious about milling that I’ll probably get a home mill some day. And I’ve had good results with the Breadtopia select flour so I’ve been wondering how it’s made.

Thanks also for the water tips!

Here is a tip for anyone from my twelve year old son:

You can practice the 6-strand braid with string first.
I wish I’d thought of that before! :slight_smile:

(mayoushh) #7

Thanks for the recipe! Can I use sourdough starter instead of yeast for this recipe? Thanks

(Melissa) #8

Hi - I plan to give this a try with sourdough starter soon. I’ll let you know how it goes.

For now, I’ve been experimenting with substituting some of the water for pumpkin puree and apple sauce (adding spices too). I put some photos below.

When I change things from yeast to sourdough, I reduce the water by very little. If you choose a faster rise / a lot of starter, then adjust the water more than a little.
I think you want the dough to be just wet/dry enough you could knead it by hand if you wanted to.

Of course, expect longer rising times too.



(Stuart) #9

This is the first time for making Challah or any type of braided loaf and it has been a long time since an enriched and strictly commercial yeast loaf has been in our oven. But since it has the advantage of being whole grain I decided to follow the recipe, something I haven’t done for a while either, the only exception is that a simplistic three strand braid was used. The loaf turned out very well for a first attempt I think and it does have the soft moist crumb expected from this style bread even if it is whole grain. Maybe it was over proofed just a bit but it still had good spring. Next time a little starter will be used to see what effects on the taste and crumb will be.

Thanks for the springboard.

(Eric) #10

Those are some gorgeous loaves. Thanks Melissa and Stu.

(Holly Kuehn) #11

I made the challah with home milled sprouted hard red spring wheat flour. The bread is wonderful! A new favorite.

(Stuart) #12

An update: This loaf was made following the recipe but with the addition of some starter. It was done in the form of a preferment using 40g starter(70% hydration) warmed from the fridge, 100g of the flour and 70g of the water. That doubled in a couple hours and was then incorporated into the rest of the ingredients per the recipe. The only other exception to the formula was that the yeast was cut in half. The timing except for the preferment was about that of the original. The crumb was pretty much the same and I think the taste is a bit more complex so overall an improvement. It’s not quite as much a fast food but it is still pretty quick for bread.

(Melissa) #13

Your bread looks great, Stu, and the preferment is definitely less of a wait than what I did yesterday, which used only sourdough starter.

I doubled the recipe, and used 80g of ripe starter…so coincidentally the same as you if I hadn’t doubled.

I made no changes to water, and I used Breadtopia Select bolted flour. Kneaded by hand with a little extra flour for the counter.

The bulk was 10 hrs, some at 69 F and more at 80 F in the oven with the light on. One stretch and fold late in the game to feel what was going on in the dough.

Here’s start and end of bulk:

I proofed in the fridge 8 hrs and on the counter to warm up, another 80 minutes. Probably could have gone longer. Here’s start and end of proof.

I didn’t cover the dough well enough overnight and then tried to compensate for dryish parts by egg-washing the whole thing A LOT, resulting in a bit of a shellac thing going on with the end product lol.

The final bread is thin because I used a five strand over under braid. The video I watched showed the lady tearing off hunks of bulked dough out of a bowl and jumping right into rolling strands (no balls) and using a bit of oil on her hands and counter. I did this and liked the ease of it.

The final bread is So Good. It doesn’t need butter or cream cheese. Way tastier than the spiced this and thats I’d made with white flour!

(Stuart) #14

That looks really really good Melissa. I bet it has a very nice taste from the long cool ferments. My dough was fermented in the oven with the light on also so it was fairly fast. An attempt at an intricate braid like that would end in a mess for me since a three strand braid is almost beyond my abilities. Is that a stencil design on that other loaf pictured?

(Melissa) #15

Even when I think I understand a braiding process from a video, I have to restart a few times. Also yell at anyone in the kitchen to be quiet or leave haha.

Not a stencil (but thank you for thinking it might be:). I did a deep score on one side to absorb most of the oven spring, and the shallow flower/tree design on the top. It was 50% whole grain rye flour with some chia and hemp seeds. I needed sandwich bread for the week and it also served as a control dough next to the challah. I deemed it done bulking earlier than the challah by about 1.5 hrs.

(DrCohen) #16

I tried this yesterday, and it was quite good. I just dumped all the ingredients in my bread maker and ran the standard 100-minute (no preheat) dough cycle. Since I wanted a loaf for sandwiches, I folded the dough into a loaf, put it in a heavily nonstick-sprayed standard (8.5x4.5) loaf pan, and proofed for 80 minutes in a proofing oven. It rose like crazy.
The finished loaf was light and tasty, but 100% whole wheat makes it a little fragile. I wonder about adding some gluten to the recipe?

(slothbear) #17

I’ve had trouble with braiding methods too. It looks so simple in the videos! For a special holiday loaf, I purchased some Play-Doh and practiced for several days before graduating to Real-Dough.

(Melissa) #18

lol at the play-doh practice. I may have to do that for some of my homemade pasta goals.

(sohana) #19

Could you help me choose the flour
I bought all types of floor and combined. I didn’t see the video and it was a disaster. Do you think I can Isère remaining flours I have and just pass it through the machine to make it thinner?
Please let me know

(Melissa) #20

Which flours do you have?