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Welcome to Home Shalom and Shalom Farm. We pray your visit here be blessed. We are learning to walk in the Ways (Torah) of our Father YHWH and follow Y'shua, His Messiah until He returns to "set things straight". We call it a "Messi-Life". Our walk is neither tidy nor perfect, but it is filled with passion, devotion and desire to serve our King. We are learning to be humble servants, and to be good stewards of the things that He has entrusted to us: His Word, our marriage, our children, our family, our community, our health, and our farm. Hitch your horse and stay a while--our door is always open!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sourdough Whole Wheat Challah

I got this recipe from some dear friends of mine (the Fourniers) who do not use commercial yeast anymore, only natural (sourdough) leaven for all their baking. This is their staple Challah recipe. I LOVE sour dough, it is out primary bread especially in the winter...(However, I must admit when I want Challah...I usually default to my Whole Grain Honey Challah.) This is a tasty bread...and a great alternative to play with (or use on other days with your starter!). I have learned a new trick with all my other sour dough breads that I have not had a chance to try with this one yet. That is to put the loaf (on parchment paper) onto a hot (preheated tray or stone) and cover it with a bowl. This helps the sour dough spring up and creates a LOVELY texture in the bread...more spongy and less dense. The next time I make this bread, I plan to try that, because when I made it...it was tasty...but dense. It was more dense than when they made it and served it to me...so I am not sure what I did differently. :-)

This recipe requires a scale and was originally taken from A Blessing of Bread, by Maggie Glezer. It assumes you already have a starter and it makes two small loaves. ( I would love to hear your experience with it if you try it!)

1/4C water
3 large eggs, play one for glazing
1 1/2tsp salt
1/4C melted butter
3T mild honey
2T vital wheat gluten
400 grams bread flour (Whole Wheat Flour is what they use)
200 grams active sourdough starter

In a large bowl, beat together the water, 3 eggs, salt, butter and honey, until the salt is dissolved and the mixture is fairly well combined. With your hands or a wooden spoon mix in your flour and wheat gluten all at once. When the mixture is a shaggy ball, scrape it out onto your floured work surface, add the starter and knead until the dough is smooth, not more than 10 minutes. (Soak and wash your mixing bowl in hot water now to clean and warm the bowl for your fermenting dough.) If the dough is too firm to knead easily, add a Tablespoon or 2 of water to it, if it is too wet add a few Tablespoons or so of flour. The dough should feel smooth and firm but be easy to knead.

Place the dough in a warm clean bowl and cover it with a moist towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough ferment for about 2 hours. It will probably not rise much at all.

Oil a large baking sheet. Divide dough into 6 even portions to braid 2 loaves. Braid them and place them on the prepared sheet(s) and cover them well with a moist towel and plastic grocery bag. Let proof until tripled in size about 5+ hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat remaining egg with a little milk and a pinch of salt. When the loaves have tripled and do not punch back when gently pressed with your finger but remain indented, brush them with the egg glaze. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds if desired. Bake loaves 25-35 minutes until browned, remove and let cool on a rack.


Anonymous said...

Could you explain for me at what point would you do what you were suggesting to help with texture? I've done a ww bread before that came out dense. Would love to improve the texture. It's sour dough. Layah Pontiff

MommySetFree said...

You put it on the parchment paper to rise after it has been shaped. Then preheat your baking sheet or stone (and even the bowl too). When you are ready to bake your bread carefully remove the bowl from the tray slide the load on it with the paper (it's easier that way). Put the hot bowl on top and shut the oven quickly this creates a mock cloche (which is usually made of clay and used by artisan bread bakers). This assist the bread in springing up quickly when made with whole grains or heavier dough. Hope that helps.