----- Makes two large loaves ------
1/2 C Oil (XV Olive oil)
1/2 C Honey (Local - raw - it's the Best!)
1T Sea Salt (Real Salt)
1C Hot water (purified)
- Mix well until disolved in a large bowl
- Add and mix together:
3/4 Cold water (purified) + 4 1/2 SAF Instant yeast (or sub same amount of regular yeast w/ warm water and proof first)
4 eggs beaten, reserve about 1T to brush loaves at the end (cover and leave on counter)
- Then add 7C+ Spelt flour** (Or Golden Hard Wheat or Red Hard Wheat or a combinatian is very nice!) - 1 C at a time. Put out on floured counter and knead until dough springs back when you poke it with your finger. You may need to add a little more flour of too sticky. (Especially if you fresh grind your flour..it is a little fluffier and takes more than if it has been stored.)
- Put in clean oiled bowl, and cover with a towel. Put it in the oven with the light on to rise until doubled. This creates a warm draft free environment perfect for rising bread.
- Punch down and knead 1-2 minutes.
- Devide into half. Then devide each half into equal thirds.
- On a floured surfacem roll each third into equal ropes; put them on a greased baking sheet and braid them. Brush them with the remaining egg wash.
- You may want to top them with poppy seeds, course sea salt or sesame seeds (or not).
- Put them back in the oven to double again.
- Pull them out and preheat oven to 350 and bake for 23min or until golden.
A fruity Challah variation, can be seen Home Shalom's Challah - Variations post. You roll out each rope, stuff it with goodies, roll it back into a rope and proceed as normal.**A word on Spelt Flour: Spelt flour is "wetter" than the wheat, so you can cut back the water by 1/2c or add more flour to suit you. But understand that it is a stickier dough. If you try to make spelt dough the consistancy of your wheat dough it will result in a dry loaf. If you allow it to be on the wetter side, but just use a good amount of flour on your board and hands to handle the outsides...the result will be a light, nutty sweat Challah - like non other. (Our favorite!) I highly recommend it! However, it might take a little gettng used to, if you are accustomed to wheat. Spelt is also great grain to use if your family is still getting used to who grains or "white" empty flour.
*If you are transitioning from an all purpose flour to grinding your own wheat, you might consider trying Golden Wheat or a mixture of Golden and spelt. To wean your family into the whole grains.
I find that the honey makes delicious a moist product that keeps well if you make it ahead and works very nicely with the whole grains. I also find that you can make your dough ahead and put it in the fridge the day before. You just bring it out on the counter to rise and shape as usual on Friday. It cuts down on dishes and time for prep day!