Crown Sourdough Challah

I am working towards a recipe and decided the perfect dough for it would be the one I use for challah. But as I was also in my sourdough phase, I decided to combine the two and came up with this recipe for a crown sourdough challah. The shape is achieved by placing the braided loaf into a Bundt tin.

Crown Sourdough Challah
Crown Sourdough Challah
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The tradition of challah

Growing up, kitke were bought every Friday afternoon from Kaufies Bakery and Delicatessen. Kitke is the Yiddish word for challah, and the only term we ever used. I have very few memories of Kaufies, other than the challah and chopped liver. But the memory of Friday night suppers is one I hold dear. Every Friday night we would go to my Grandmother’s house. There would be roast chicken, peas, potatoes and rice. Yes, a lot of starchy vegetables, all comfort food. The blessings over the candles, bread and wine would be said, and the kitke would be torn, and handed person to person. Salt was sprinkled on the bread before we ate it. To this day, Friday night suppers of roast chicken remind me of my Gran, and I always salt my bread!

Baking and shaping challah

It was not until I left home that I baked my first loaf of challah. In her book, Joy of Kosher, Jamie Geller says that she says a prayer for each of her children as she kneads the dough. Traditional Ashkenazi recipes contain eggs, white flour, water, sugar, yeast, oil and salt. Modern recipes allow for the use of different types of flour such as spelt, whole wheat or even oat flour. And the replacement of sugar with honey or molasses. For my crown sourdough challah I used a starter in place of yeast. Whereas traditional loaves are kneaded by hand, I use my KitchenAid stand mixer. The result is the same, and the pressure is taken off my shoulder and wrist. Challah is normally braided, either with 3 or 6 strands. But I wanted to make a challah in my Bundt tin, and used only 3.

Changing it up

Raisins are often added to the dough on Rosh Hashanah and the challah will be shaped into a round loaf to symbolise the cycle of the year. These loaves will get brushed with honey before baking, instead of the usual egg wash. This is to symbolise a sweet new year, and will be dipped in honey after the blessing. Poppy, sesame or anise seeds can be sprinkled on top. And for me, the addition of sesame seeds is a must to bring back memories of my childhood. As two loaves are required for the Sabbath prayers and observances, there are often leftovers. I love my challah toasted, with butter spread on as soon as it comes out of the toaster. A sprinkling of salt is added if I am having it with eggs. Or I slather the bread with jam.

Take a look at this inspiring recipe for ♥ Crown Sourdough Challah ♥ from Lavender and Lime #LavenderAndLime Click To Tweet

Crown Sourdough Challah

 

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5 from 2 votes

Crown Sourdough Challah

You need a Bundt tin to shape this bread, and it is a 2 day recipe
Recipe Category: Bread
Makes enough for: 1 challah
All Rights Reserved: An original recipe from Lavender and Lime

Ingredients

Day 1:

    For the starter:

    • 35 g active sourdough starter
    • 35 g water
    • 35 g bread flour

    For the challah:

    • 500 g bread flour, plus extra for dusting
    • 185 g water
    • 40 g honey
    • 2 eggs
    • 10 g fine salt
    • 40 g canola oil, plus extra for greasing

    Day 2:

      To bake:

      • milk to glaze
      • sesame seeds for sprinkling

      Method

      Day 1:

        For the starter:

        • Place the starter, water and flour into a stand mixer bowl and whisk to combine
        • Cover and leave to activate for 4 hours

        For the challah:

        • Add the flour, water, honey, and eggs to the starter and use a dough hook to mix until the dough just comes together
        • Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes
        • Sprinkle the salt on top of the dough, add a quarter of the oil and mix with the dough hook until the oil is absorbed
        • Continue to do this with the rest of the oil, adding a quarter at a time until the oil is well mixed into the dough
        • Knead for 10 minutes then remove the dough from the bowl
        • Lightly oil the bowl, tip the dough back into the bowl and lightly oil the top of the dough
        • Cover and leave to prove for 4 hours
        • Place into the fridge overnight

        Day 2:

        • Remove the dough from the fridge and turn out onto your work surface
        • Divide into three equal portions and roll each portion into a tight ball
        • Place seam side down and cover with lightly oiled cling wrap
        • Set aside for 10 minutes to rest
        • Roll each ball into a rectangle shape, rolling on each side to achieve a length of 20cm
        • Roll each rectangle like a Swiss roll, using the longest edge
        • Once they have all been rolled, cover with the oiled cling wrap, and leave to rest for 10 minutes
        • Roll each piece into a 45cm long strand
        • Lightly dust your work surface with flour and place the three strands next to each other
        • Pinch the top of the strands together and then braid the strands, stretching them as you go along, until you reach the end
        • Pinch the bottom of the strands together then carefully lift the dough and place into a Bundt tin
        • Cover with the oiled cling wrap and leave to prove for 4 hours
        • Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
        • Glaze the top of the dough with milk, sprinkle sesame seeds over the top and place into the oven
        • Bake for 40 minutes then remove from the oven
        • Tip the tin over and allow the bread to fall out onto a wire rack
        • Flip right side up and leave to cool completely before cutting
        See the links below for blog posts I published on March 21:

        Lavender and Lime Signature

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