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Ain't No Challah Back Bread |

Challah if you want some delicious bread! Challah is somewhere between bread and brioche ,meaning it's lovely and light; and in this recipe the adition of tahini makes it slightly nutty and savoury. This honey tahini challah recipe is from Claire Saffitz Dessert Person.

Prep time:

Cooking time:

Makes: 1 medium challah


2.5g or 3/4 tsp active dry yeast

85g honey

64g tahini

4 medium/small eggs

36ml extra-virgin olive oil

292g bread flour

1tsp salt

A sprinkling of sesame seeds

1. Yeastie bois

Luke, warm the water - measure 26ml water at a lukewarm temperature and add 3/4tsp yeast in a medium sized bowl. Set this mixture aside until its foamy and bubbly - just like your drunk aunt at christmas - about 5 minutes.

Once foamy, add 85g honey, 64g tahini, 2 egg yolks, 1 whole egg, 36ml olive oil, 56ml of room temperature water (and the kitchen sink. Jk you'll need that for all the washing up later on). Whisk everything to combine.

Time to dry this bish out like its the Sahara - in a large bowl, whisk 292g flour and 1tsp salt. Now comes the oasis, make a well in the center and pour in the egg(xtra) mixture. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together with a wooden spoon, working outwards. Once the dough is shaggy (it's about to do it on the kitchen work surface) knead it together with your hands inside the bowl, and then pour it onto a floured work surface.

Knead the dough for a further 10 minutes, adding more flour if the dough starts to stick to the work surface. You'll know that the dough is ready when it becomes supple (a word on par with moist, sorry) and stretchy; when you poke with your finger, like a litte owl, it should cling to your finger slightly.

Form the dough into a tight ball and pop into a large bowl which is lightly oiled with olive oil.

Cover and rest in a warm place, maybe near your heart you warm and generous being, until its twice its original size - this could be anywhere from an 1 1/2 to 3 hours.

2. He hath risen

Once your dough has doubled in size, put it back in its place by lightly punching it down. Then tip the dough out onto a floured surface. Divide the dough into three equal portions.

Roll each ball out until it's 16 inches long - each dough snake bebe should be thicker in the middle and thinner towards the end. Dust each baton with flour - this will ensure that each braid stays prominent and defined once baked the challah is baked. Place each dough snek on a lined baking tray.

3. The braidy bunch

Line the three braids up, start from the centre point of the braids (halfway down their snakey forms), and lift the left braid up and put over the braid in the centre, then plop the braid on the right over the strand you just moved into the center, keep moving from left to right in the same way, until all the strands are braided (or just go watch how the master herself does it, instead of reading these errant riddles). When finished, pinch the ends, squeezing them together and then fold them underneath the bread.

Cover the braided challah loosely with plastic wrap and leave for 1-2 hours in a warm place to rise some more.

4. Washy Washy

Preheat your oven to 175c. In a small bowl whisk the final egg, uncover the dough and brush with the beaten egg. Now your challah has a sticky surface, scatter like you're a squirrel hiding nuts in winter with a generous amount of sesame seeds.

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until golden and then impatiently leave the loaf to cool.

Have a lovely, crumbly dink and sink!

Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "This was an interesting one - I seem to have a lot of flops when I make enriched doughs, and this was no exception. Unfortuantely, this time there wasn't the perfect counter bread to compare it to (looking at you Kate) , so who knows, maybe it was perfect (it was not FYI, I forgot to put the tahini in at the start - yes, literally the principle ingredient- and had to knead it in later, which made the bread sweaty for some reason...). I really enjoyed the end taste of this bread, it was slightly peanut buttery, but the texture was very dry and hard to eat. Maybe in future I would add more moisture, or follow the recipe better! I would also not gasp with out a compadrio again, because there was no back up bread to save the day! 6.5/10"

Kate says: "Spoiler alert, this was more of a solo gasp on Lizzy's part as I was busy at work, so I can't really comment on the making process. But I do have an opinion on the taste! To me, this was one of those things that you're not sure you like so you keep going back for me only to be slightly disappointed each time. It was neither savoury or sweet but somewhere in between which confused me and after Lizzy left to go back to the UK, there was rather a lot left over that I didn't eat. I think the idea is nice, but I'm not really sure how I'd eat it because it's not really a tea time snack.. Maybe a breakfast bread.. ? Hmm, food for thought indeed because this has got me scratching my head. 4/10"

5.25/10 Gasps


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