Natural challah made with 100% organic whole wheat flour, free-range egg, raw local honey, and extra virgin olive oil. For the first challah after Passover, I decided to share with you guys my recipe for 100% whole wheat challah. Many recipes claim to be whole wheat but actually using a mix of white flour and whole wheat. In my opinion- whole wheat bread should be made from 100% whole grain flour only. In this recipe, I use honey instead of cane sugar to give more moisture to the dough. The result is stunning, and because it's whole-wheat I feel better to finish it all alone :)
500 gr whole wheat flour
240 ml lukewarm water
50 gr raw honey
60 ml extra virgin olive oil
10 gr dry yeast
10 gr sea salt
1 free range egg
- In a stand mixer's bowl mix water, yeast, and honey. Stir well, then add the egg.
- Add the flour to the mixer bowl and don't stir.
- Pour the olive oil on top.
- Set the mixer to the lowest speed and start mixing for 4 min until we get a homogenous dough.
- Change the mixer to a higher speed, only one level faster than the slowest one. We don't want to stress our dough. Work the dough at that speed for 5 min.
- Add the salt.
- Keep kneading for 3 min. Total kneading of the dough should be 12 min.
- Round the dough and place it in an oiled bowl to proof. Cover with a towel to avoid the dough from drying out.
- After doubled in size, punch the dough and divide the dough by the desired amount of strands you want:
Using this recipe, let's understand how to divide the dough:
2 Challahs of 3 strands: Divide to 6 balls of 150 gr.
2 Challahs of 4 strands: Divide to 8 balls of 110 gr.
2 Challahs of 5 strands: Divide to 10 balls of 90 gr.
1 Challah of 6 strands: Divide to 6 balls of 150 gr.
1 Challah of 7 strands: Divide to 7 balls of 120 gr.
1 Challah of 8 strands: Divide to 8 balls of 110 gr.
- Round each piece to a perfect sealed ball. Place them 2 inches apart and cover with a towel. Let them rest for 10-15 min.
- Flattening each ball to a pita shape, start to roll the top towards you creating a sausage shape. In this way, we avoid air pockets in the strands. We want our challah to be with no holes inside.
- Open the strands in a way that the edges are slightly thinner than the center of the strand. It will result in beautiful and easy-going braiding.
- When the strands are ready to be braided- flour them gently. This way they will stay separate from each other when being baked.
- Attach the top of all the strands together and start to braid.
- Cover the braided challah with a towel and let it proof. You know it is ready to be baked when you touched the strands (gently!!!!!) and it bounced back slowly.
- Brush with egg yolk mixed with a sip of water. Don't make a pool of egg on the challah. Light Brushing. We don't want an omelet on our bread!
- Spread the desire toppings.
- Bake in a preheated oven to 380F or 190C for about 25 min. If the top of the challah gets brown too fast, cover the top with aluminum foil.
- Cool the challah on a rack.
- If you plan to eat it in the next few days- close in a plastic sealed bag once cooled down.