Challah via www.clairekcreations.com

For Christmas about 15 years ago, my sister was given a bread machine (she’d asked for it). We took it up to Sunshine Beach on holidays with us and we were all eager to make the first loaf. We (ok Mum) followed the instructions, putting all the ingredients in and setting the timer so we would awake to the smell of fresh bread.

At about 4am we awoke to what we thought was the world ending there was such an almighty roaring noise coming from the kitchen. Little did we know, bread machines and sleeping are not two things that go together. This thing made enough noise to wake everyone in the building.

How to make Challah bread via www.clairekcreations.com

I do remember mum making us some pretty amazing loaves (and a door stop or two) with the machine  but I don’t think it was used much after those holidays.

Challah via www.clairekcreations.com

 About 10 years later when I moved out of home I took it with me (I think my sister had forgotten she owned it) and made a few loaves before discovering how easy it is to make bread without one. Honestly, you don’t need one. 

If I could convince people of one thing it would be how easy and fun making your own bread is. A few years ago, I thought if everyone buys their bread and there are so many bakeries around, bread making must be too difficult which I assume is what most people think.

It’s not. Take this plaited Challah bread. I would say that even if you have never made bread before, as long as your yeast isn’t stale and you can measure out the ingredients, you can make this.

Challah via www.clairekcreations.com

Challah to me is a cross between croissant and normal bread. Yes that means it’s quite delicious warm and spread with butter and jam. I’m not sure if that’s how it’s meant to be eaten but that’s what I did.

Danielle from Mostly Foods and Crafts says this is her favourite bread and I can see why. I was assigned to her blog for this month’s Secret Recipe Club. Funnily enough, I wrote this post then went back and read Danielle’s post only to see that she too wants to show people how easy bread-making is.

Her mother said she could never make bread – that was until Danielle showed her how and she changed her mind. Her niece was pretty proud of the first loaf they made together too. She has quite a few delicious looking bread recipes on her blog.

How to make Challah via www.clairekcreations.com

The original recipe is for thebread machine but since I’m out to convince you you don’t need one, I adapted it for the  electric mixer (but you could just knead by hand).

Now don’t be daunted by the fancy shape. It’s not difficult at all. Just follow my pseudo photo instructions.

Please give it a go. If you do, I’d love to see a photo. In fact if you ever make any of my recipes I’d love it if you’d share them on Facebook or Instagram (tag @clairekcreations). Enjoy!


Challah via www.clairekcreations.com

Challah

Challah

Yield: 2 loaves
Prep Time: 5 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 free-range eggs, room temperature, beaten
  • 5 cups baker’s flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp dried yeast
  • Milk for brushing
  • Poppy seeds for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the water, sugar, honey, oil, salt, eggs, flour and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  2. Starting on the lowest speed, combine all the ingredients then increase the speed to knead.
  3. Knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. If it is a little sticky, add extra flour one tablespoon at a time.
  4. Oil a large bowl.
  5. Shape the kneaded dough into a ball and place it in the oiled bowl then cover it and set aside until doubled in size (about 2 hours in my kitchen).
  6. Flour the bench and turn the risen dough out of the bowl.
  7. Punch it down and cut in half.
  8. Set one half aside and divide the remaining half into three equal pieces.
  9. Shape each piece into a long rope.
  10. Connect the three pieces at one end, furthest away from you by squishing them all together and then plait the pieces together. To do this, take the outer right rope and place it over the middle one, then take the outer left rope and place it over the middle, repeating until you get to the end then squish it all together.
  11. Place the plait into a lined baking tray and tuck the ends over.
  12. Repeat with the remaining dough then cover the tray with plastic wrap and set aside until almost doubled in size (about 1-2 hours).
  13. Pre-heat the oven to 160C fan-forced.
  14. Brush the risen loaves with milk (or a beaten egg mixed with a little water) and sprinkle with poppy seeds if using.
  15. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden then transfer to a wire rack.
  16. Best eaten warm or toasted.

 

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