Slow Rise Whole Wheat Challah

Adapted from A Blessing of Bread by Maggie Glezer.

Makes 4 loaves or 16 rolls

 

STEP 1

¼ teaspoon instant yeast

1 cup warm water

2½ cups bread flour

 

  1. Add warm water to bowl.

  2. Sprinkle yeast over water and stir.  Leave to proof for about 5 minutes. You should see bubbles in the mixture. The yeast is good!

  3. Add flour and stir until mixture comes away from sides of bowl. Add a bit of flour to counter. Remove dough from bowl and knead on counter until smooth and elastic.

  4. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let it rise 9-10 hours.

 

STEP 2

7½ cups whole wheat flour

3 cups warm water

1 cup raisins, optional

Dough from STEP 1

5 teaspoons salt

½ cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons sweetener such as honey, brown sugar or Stevia

 

  1. Add flour to bowl. Stir in warm water and mix well. Add raisins here, if using. Cover dough and let sit for 20 minutes.

  2. Add dough from STEP 1, salt, oil, and sweetener. Turn out on floured counter and knead, adding flour as needed, until dough is smooth, elastic and no longer sticky.

  3. Place dough in a bowl with a small amount of oil in in. Turn dough so entire surface is covered with oil. Let dough rise for 4-5 hours.

 

STEP 3

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with oil.

  2. Shape loaves in braids or in a spiral. Cover loaves with plastic wrap and let rise for about 2 hours.

  3. Place a small bowl water in oven proof bowls on bottom of oven. Preheat oven to 375.

  4. Spray loaves with water and place in oven.  If using an egg wash for the glaze apply here. (see Step 4)

  5. Loaves are done when they sound hollow when tapped.

 

STEP 4

  1. Brush warm loaves with a glaze.

    a. Beat an egg and brush tops of loaves with egg wash.

    b. Mix 1 teaspoon cornstarch with 1/3 cup water.  Bring to a boil, stirring consistently for 1-2 minutes until thickened. Brush glaze on warm loaves. Let dry and then give the loaves another coat.

 

Substitutions

Vegan: Use maple syrup for sweetener.

Gluten Free:  Use gluten free flour.

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