Challah plaited bread
( MAKES 1 loaf )
Photo by Tamara West
This bread uses egg to enrich the dough and is shaped into a plait. Sometimes raisins are added and it is generally sprinkled with sesame or poppy seeds. See Celia's guide for the flour to choose here and her guide to kneading bread here.
|3 tsp||Active dried yeast|
|50 ml||Water, warm|
|300 g||Flour, plain white|
|100 g||Wholemeal flour|
|2||Eggs, at room temperature|
|2 Tbsp||Vegetable oil|
|150 ml||Water, warm|
- Heat the oven to 180C.
- Whisk together the dried yeast, sugar, 2 Tbsp flour and 50ml warm water. Set aside to ferment until foamy.
- Mix the salt into the flour. Make a well in the centre. Add the eggs, vegetable oil, water and yeast mixture.
- Using your fingertips, draw the wet ingredients together and combine with the flour to form a ball of dough. Knead the dough well on a clean surface, until smooth and elastic.Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
- Knock back and cut into three even-sized pieces, shape each piece into a long sausage, about 1.5cm in diameter. Pinch together the three strands at one end and and plait the strands together. Place on an oiled oven tray and leave to prove until almost doubled in size.
- Brush with egg wash and garnish with sesame or fennel seeds. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden, dry to the touch and hollow when tapped on the base of the loaf. If the loaf expands in a way that some of the unglazed bread starts to show, you can brush more glaze on the loaf during the baking process. Cool on a wire rack.