Challah is traditionally eaten on the Jewish Sabbath (Shabbos). This is not your average challah recipe. It is a twist on my trusty old water challah recipe (which even water-challah-phobics have loved), and has some of the taste of an everything bagel. It’s really something else. Enjoy! This challah freezes extremely well after baking, just defrost in a ziplock bag with the zipper open. I always freeze it, even what I bake on Thursday nights for use on Friday! It preserves the freshness so well.
Mix the yeast, water, and sugar together in a large bowl, stir to dissolve the sugar, and let the mixture stand until a creamy layer forms on top, about 5 minutes. Stir in the oil, and sprinkle the yeast mixture with 2 tablespoons of salt, 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds, 2 tablespoons of dried onion, 1 tablespoon of dried garlic, garlic powder, and onion powder. Add the flour a cup at a time up to 6 cups, then add more by half-cups if needed to make an elastic but not sticky dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form the dough into a compact round shape, and place in an oiled bowl. Turn the dough over several times in the bowl to oil the surface of the dough, cover the bowl with a cloth, and let rise in a warm area until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the dough into 2 equal size pieces. To make 3-strand braided loaves, cut each piece into 3 pieces. Working on a floured surface, roll the small dough pieces into ropes about the thickness of your thumb and about 12 inches long. Ropes should be fatter in the middle and thinner at the ends. Pinch 3 ropes together at the top and braid them. Starting with the strand to the right, move it to the left over the middle strand (that strand becomes the new middle strand.) Take the strand farthest to the left, and move it over the new middle strand. Continue braiding, alternating sides each time, until the loaf is braided, and pinch the ends together and fold them underneath for a neat look. Place the loaves on the prepared baking sheets. Cover the loaves, and let them rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Mix sesame seeds, kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of poppy seeds, 1/2 teaspoon of dried onion, and 1/2 teaspoon of dried garlic in a small bowl. Brush the loaves with beaten egg, and sprinkle with the seed mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven until the loaves are cooked through and golden brown, 45 to 60 minutes. Check for doneness after 45 minutes of baking time.
Per Serving: 193 calories; protein 4.3g; carbohydrates 31.7g; fat 5.5g; cholesterol 7.8mg; sodium 626.1mg.
The quality of the flour could make a real difference to your bread. Different brands do vary. Extra-strong or Canadian flours, which are naturally higher in gluten, may give you a best rise than standard dough flours – especially if you’re make wholemeal bread , which doesn’t always rise as well as white bread.
To made this in a breadmaker , add all the menus to your breadmaker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
A dough’s first rising can be done in the fridge overnight . This slows down the time it takes to rise to double its size, giving it a deeper flavour. It’s also a great limit , as you can work it night before , then finish it off the next day.