I am so excited to share this challah recipe with you, and hope you will come to love it just as much as our family does! Even though it is made with whole wheat flour, it is still tender and delicious. Keep reading to learn all about how to make this Spelt Challah Recipe With Honey.
What Makes This Spelt Challah So Good?
It is tender and it is delicious. I know some people have had bad experiences with whole-grain baked goods, but this will not be one of those times.
I choose to make most of my baked goods with a blend of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. My family and most of our friends prefer it this way. You might think this would make it dry, but I promise, it is still light and tender.
Braided challah loaves are show-stoppers. They are such pretty loaves of bread. Everyone will be so impressed when you bring this to the table.
Let me teach you how to create a beautiful loaf just like this.
- Spelt Flour- I used spelt flour, but you can also use white whole wheat flour, red, rye, kamut, einkorn, etc. Just make sure it is a high-protein flour.
- All-purpose flour- as mentioned above, I like to use a blend of white and whole wheat in my baked goods.
- Water- you can use milk for the liquid, but I like to use water.
- Instant Yeast- you can also use active dry if you prefer, but I like instant.
- Salt- Not only does it add flavor, but helps control the yeast in the bread.
- Honey- I love using honey in my wheat bread.
- Eggs- They add color and add to the texture as well.
- Canola Oil- I like canola oil in this bread, but if you want, you can also use softened butter.
How To Make
This dough is made in a "straight dough" method. It is the simplest for making yeast bread. What this means is all the ingredients are added to the mixer at once and mixed at the same time.
This method is really quick and simple. I gave a variable on the all-purpose flour. Start with the smallest amount, 3 cups, then only add more if you need to.
Mix the dough in the mixer on medium speed for at least 1 minute before checking this. You will want a dough that is just slightly sticky, but not really sticky.
If you need to, add in another ⅓-1/2 cup. Then set the mixer on medium and mix for 6 minutes.
Cover with plastic wrap and let this rise until it has doubled. Form your braids, I will explain more on this below.
Cover again and let it rise the second time. Brush generously with the egg wash. You can top it with poppy seeds or sesame seeds. I chose to leave mine plain.
Bake until it is a beautiful golden brown color.
Forming A 7-Strand Challah Braid
One of the things that have really captured my attention lately with regard to challah is the braiding techniques I am seeing. They are just fascinating. The Challah Prince is one of my favorites to watch.
Here are the basics for braiding the 7-strand challah. Start by dividing your dough into 7 equal pieces. You can weigh it if you want. Remember you have enough for 2 loaves, so divide the dough in half first, then each half into 7 pieces.
Roll them into 20-24-inch pieces. Then line them up next to each other.
Beginning at the right side, take the far right strip and bring it over top of the strip next to it. The one you brought over with now be on the inside. Take the 2 strips to the left of this and cross those over the one to their left. Repeat on the left side.
Let me explain it like this in numbers. They are lined out 18.104.22.168.5.6.7., after bringing it over, they are now lined up like this- 22.214.171.124.5.7.6. Then, 126.96.36.199.4.5.6. Next, 188.8.131.52.4.5.6. Then 184.108.40.206.4.5.6.
Am I confusing you? Read the explanation, then watch the video. I hope that will help.
What Makes Challah Different From Other Breads?
Challah is a rich dough, meaning it uses eggs and fat. There is plenty of bread like this.
I would say the thing that really makes challah different is its religious significance to Jewish people.
Why Is Challah So Important In Jewish Culture?
First, let's start with the name. Challah is pronounced hall-ah. With the "ch", the "c" is silent.
It is served on Shabbat or holidays.
Whenever I hear Jewish people speak of challah, it is always with reverence. It is tradition, it is home, and it is a signal of Shabbat.
It is an act of worship and is considered a spiritual experience.
I decided to create my recipe as one that will make 2 loves of challah, this is symbolic of the double portions of manna the children of Israel would gather before the Sabbath.
What Flour To Use In Challah?
I used 2 flours for mine, all-purpose flour, and whole wheat flour. As I mentioned above, you can use any type of high-protein whole-grain flour you like. My personal favorites for this bread are spelt, white whole wheat, and einkorn.
This blend will create the best tender loaf. You can also use bread flour too, but I don't think it is necessary. Especially since bread flour is more expensive.
There are a few things to note about making this bread.
First, make sure you mix your ingredients well. If you are mixing in a stand mixer, make sure and mix on medium speed for at least 6 minutes. If you are kneading by hand, you will want to knead for at least 10 minutes.
Next, watch your rise. What I mean by that is to make sure the bread has doubled for both rises.
Don't skip the egg wash, that will give it that beautiful shiny color we all love.
If you want, you can sprinkle the egg-washed bread with poppy seeds or sesame seeds. I wanted to leave mine like they are, but you can change it up if you want.
Other Bread Recipes
- Honey Oatmeal Bread
- Multigrain Bread
- Sprouted Wheat Bread
- Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread
- Whole Wheat Pretzels
Spelt Challah Recipe
- Stand mixer, or you can knead by hand.
- 2 baking sheets
- 3 cups whole wheat flour I used spelt, but you can use white wheat, red wheat, kamut, rye, einkorn, etc.
- 3-3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cup warm water it should feel just warm to the touch, about 100 degrees.
- 2 eggs
- 2 packets instant yeast this is about 5 teaspoons
- ½ cup canola oil or melted butter
- ½ cup honey
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Make sure to read the instructions all the way through before starting. You can knead this by hand or by machine. The concept is the same.
- This makes 2 good-sized loaves, or you can make 1 really large loaf.
- Add all ingredients to your mixing bowl fitted with a dough hook. Start with 3 cups of all-purpose flour. If you need more, we can add it after it has mixed for a while.
- Start mixing on medium speed. After about 1 minute, check the consistency of the dough. I should feel just slightly "tacky" (sticky). If you need to add in more flour, start with ¼-1/3 cup. Let it mix another minute and check again. It should be starting to pull away from the sides of the bowl just slightly.
- Let this mix on medium speed for 6 minutes.
- Cover and let this double in a warm place. Mine took about an hour. It will depend on the temperature and humidity in your house.
- Once it rises, it is time to shape. I formed my 2 loaves into 7 strand braids. You can form your loaves however you like.
- Place them on 2 baking sheets. I like to line mine with parchment paper. If you don't make sure and spray or butter your pan to keep the bread from sticking.
- Cover the loaves and again allow them to double. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix your egg wash and brush the loaves with the egg wash. Make sure to brush in all the nooks and crannies, this is important with braids. But, don't add too much egg wash. You don't want scrambled eggs on your bread. 🙂
- Move the loaves to your preheated oven and bake until the loaves are a deep golden brown color.
- Remove from the oven. You can eat them while they are hot, let them cool slightly, or wait until they have cooled all the way. I promise they are delicious no matter how you eat it!
- Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it.