In honor of Tu B'shevat, I decided to make Honey Whole Wheat Challah. This recipe is sweetened with honey and barley malt syrup (available in the organic section) without any refined white sugar. I've also added a little oat bran. I didn't have any rye flour or spelt flour or I would have thrown some in to complete the grains of the Holy Land. If you have some at home, substitute some of the wheat flour for the others...and, let me know how it turns out! This challah has a wonderful crumb and a deep richness. And, of course, it is great for year around when shaped in sandwich loaves.
The ratio of whole wheat to white flour is 3:2 so the loaf is still on the lighter side. If you regularly eat the classic egg challah, consider changing it up a bit with this tasty whole wheat option. I've used the six-braid for these loaves, representing the twelve tribes of Israel, of course.
|Number of servings:||4 loaves|
|Main Ingredient(s):||Honey, Flour - Whole Wheat, Flour - Unbleached All Purpose|
|Skill Level:||1 - Easy (1 Easy - 5 Hard)|
|Estimated POINT value:|
- 9 cups whole wheat flour
- 7 cups unbleached white flour
- 2 cups oat bran
- 1/3 cup yeast (or 6 packages)
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup barley malt
- 5 eggs
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup oil
Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and give it a quick whisk to blend the yeast.
Combine the wet ingredients and add to the dry in the mixing bowl.
If using a mixer with a dough hook, blend at a low speed for 2 minutes. Raise the speed a little and beat for 2 minutes. Turn the speed down to low and knead for 12 minutes. If mixing by hand, mix until combined. Turn out to work surface and knead for 12 minutes. The dough shouldn't be sticky but you don't want it stiff either.
Shape the dough into a ball. Lightly oil a large bowl and put the ball into the bowl upside down. Use it to smear the oil around the boil and then bring it right side up. Cover with a dish towel. Set aside to rise until double in bulk, about an hour.
Once the dough has risen, punch it down and move it to the work table.
Divide the dough into fourths and shape into balls. Cover and let rest for 1/2 hour.
Cut each ball into the number of strands you'd like to braid to form the loaf. I'm using 6 strands for this challah.
After braiding, move the challah to a cookie sheet. Brush with beaten egg and set aside, uncovered, to rise until almost double in bulk. Depending on the temperature of the room, this could be up to another hour.
Bake challah at 350 degree until golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when patted on the bottom, about 25 - 30 minutes.
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Tu B'shevat Whole Wheat Challah
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