Challah is my favorite breakfast bread, it is perfect for french toast. The flavor is pleasantly sweet and the texture is incredibly soft. Challah bread could be made with raisins or chocolate chips for additional flavor.
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2 x 400g Challahs
- 560g bread flour (100%) (+/-40 g of flour depends on the strength of your flour)
- 210g water (38%)
- 112g sourdough starter/levain (20%)
- 1 large egg (9-10%)
- 80g sugar (14%)
- 10g salt (2%)
- 60g oil without flavor (10%)
- 0.5 g dry yeast (optional, to reduce sourness)
- 1 egg for egg-wash
- 10 pm add starter to the water and whisk together, add flour, mix well, cover loosely, let it sit at a room temp 74-78F for about 8-10 hours until starter reaches its peak (at least triples in volume).
- 8 am mix water, egg, sugar, sourdough starter (112g at its peak, use the rest for future feedings), all the flour, let it autolyse for 1 hour.
- During the autolyse process the flour becomes fully hydrated. This activates gluten development.
- 9 am mix the dough on low speed of your mixing machine for 2-3 minutes, or KitchenAid on speed 3 for 3-4 minutes until well incorporated.
- Add salt, mix for a couple more minutes. The dough should come up together.
- Slowly pour oil , mix for 15 more minutes until the dough is well incorporated and comes up together.
If the dough looks too sticky, add a little more flour. If it’s too stiff, you can add some water (depending on the strength of your flour)
- Perform a windowpane test. Wet your hands and stretch the dough. You should be able to stretch it thin, that’s a sign of a well developed gluten, and that your final product will have a soft and light structure.
- Cover and let it proof for 3-4 hours at 76-80F/ 24-28C.
- During that time perform 2 stretches and folds.
- The dough should become slightly puffy.
- 1 pm transfer the dough to the fridge for cold fermentation till next morning.
- Remove the dough from the fridge.
- Braid it the way you like.
- I divided the dough in 12 equal pieces and braided 2 separate braids.
- Put a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom of your baking tray.
- Transfer the shaped challahs into a 2 separate trays.
- Cover the dough and let it proof for 5-6 hours at 76-80F /24-28C until it doubles in volume.
- Prepare the egg wash ( mix an egg with little of water and a pinch of salt).
- Spread egg wash all over the challah.
- Preheat the oven to 375F, bake for 45 min without steam until golden brown.