Posted on 24 Comments

Sourdough Challah Bread

Challah

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.

Ready in: 
48 hours
Serves: 
12-15 people
Yield:  
2 x 400g Challahs 
Units: 
US, EU

Ingredients

Sourdough starter 

Dough

  • 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

Directions 

Day 1

Starter 

  • 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).
Starter

Day 2

Dough

  • 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.

Day 3

  • 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.

Enjoy 🙏🏻

24 thoughts on “Sourdough Challah Bread

  1. Natasha, thank you so much for sharing the recipe! I only have a question, after removing the dough from the fridge should I wait until it comes to the room temp before the shaping?

    1. Hi!
      Thank you for your feedback !
      It’s easier to work with cold dough.
      So you don’t have to wait until it will warm up.

      1. Hi, Natasha! thank you for your answer. I tried the challah and it is absolutely delicious, I will make it again for sure 🙂

      2. Thank you so much!
        I’m very happy you liked it 🙏🙏🙏

  2. Thank you for this! I’m practicing for the Jewish high holidays. Do you use the dough hook on the mixer?

    1. Thank you so much!
      You’ll love it!
      Yes I’m using a hook!

      1. Thank you! I got confused when trying the recipe about the autolyse – do you properly mix in the flour? I only ask because when i went to add the oil, it wouldn’t mix in and I had to bin the whole thing.

      2. You have to mix ingredients for autolyse, let the gluten to start developing and then add salt and butter,
        It might take about 10 min to mix everything together

  3. Hola Natasha, estoy siguiendo tu receta en estos momentos, gracias y saludos… ya te mostrare como quedó!

    1. muchas gracias!
      buena suerte!

  4. Hi Natasha! Thanks for all your recipes! If I wanted to add toppings to this, when would you recommend? When all ingredients are mixed in or during folds?

    1. Hi!
      Thank you!
      You can add toppings during mixing (raisins or chocolate)

      1. Thank you! Will try this for french toast =P

  5. Thank you for the great recipe! I love it!

    1. Thank you for your feedback 🙏

  6. Hi Natasha. Thank you for sharing ur fabulous recipe. Can it be made without the egg? Would you add extra oil or water to make up for the lost liquid?

    1. Hi!
      Yes, try to add about 30g more of water.
      Or more if dough will be to stiff 🙏

  7. Hola Natasha,
    Hoy preparé el challah para la cena de shabat y quedó maravilloso!
    Es ell mejor challah que hice hasta ahora.

  8. Can you please explain why u didnt use steam

    1. Hi!
      Crust should be soft, that’s why you don’t have to use steam 🙏

  9. Hi Natasha,

    This morning I started making this recipe and made a mistake right away: I had too little sourdough, aprox. 10%. I had already mixed in all the other ingredients and did not want to throw it away, so I added 2g fresh yeast hoping it would make up for the missing sourdough. Do you think it will work? Do I need to adjust anything else?

    1. Annika, hi!
      Sorry, I’m probably too late. But you did all good.
      Also if only 10% of starter was added, it would work too. With longer proofing time.

  10. This turned out beautifully!!!! So easy! I divided my dough into two loaves like you, but took them out of the oven with about ~12 minutes to go and they were definitely done so I’d recommend people keeping an eye on the oven during baking!

    1. Siri! Thank you so much for your feedback. Glad you liked it. And thank you for the temperature tip 🙏

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