Challa meme

Danya posted about baking challa. In the interests of Jewish pluralism, here’s my recipe. These quantities make 5 medium-sized or 4 largish challot.

  • 1 kg white flour
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 or 4 threads of saffron
  • 25 g yeast
  • 1 tsp honey
  • About 500 cc. lukewarm water
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds.

Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl and make a well in the middle.
Pour a little boiling water over the saffron, stir well and leave for a few minutes.
Stir the yeast and honey together until the yeast dissolves.
Add the lukewarm water, the saffron, and the eggs to the yeast (keeping back about 1/4 of an egg for glazing) and pour into the flour. (This is best done in two stages, otherwise you leave behind a residue of yeast). The total amount of liquid should be about 625 cc for 1kg of flour.
Fold the flour over the liquid and leave it for about 20 minutes until it starts bubbling up.
Stir the liquid into the flour and knead well for at least 5 minutes, adding more liquid or flour if necessary. The dough should be slightly sticky.
Cover with a towel and leave to rise for an hour or two.
Knock in the air, and knead it a bit more.
Divide into 4 or 5 balls, divide each one into 3, and braid them together.
Paint with the rest of the beaten egg and scatter sesame or poppy seeds over the top.
Prove for 45-60 minutes.
Bake at 220° C for 30-35 minutes.