Challah is typically baked with white flour. As Daniel Leader says, “challah is the whitest of white breads.” He also points out that observant Jews baked bread prior to the invention of white flour, so they must have baked challah with whole grains at some point.
This challah dough is about half whole wheat flour and half white flour. The addition of a small amount of finely chopped dried apricots add a touch of sweetness to balance the bite of the whole wheat flour.
The bread is pretty amazing, and going forward, it will be difficult for me to choose which challah recipe to bake. This bread is light and airy, and simply wonderful. The dough behaved and was super easy to braid.
More awesome challah recipes to check out: Italian challah and Demerara sugar honey challah.
Whole Wheat Challah with Apricots
240 grams stone ground whole wheat flour
219 grams unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C water
3 large room temperature eggs
1/2 C olive oil
1/4 C honey
30 grams finely chopped dried apricots
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flours, yeast, salt, water, two of the eggs, olive oil, and honey. Stir with a large spoon or dough whisk to moisten.
- Knead the ingredients with the dough hook on medium-high speed for about 4 to 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl. I had to add a couple of extra tablespoons of flour.
- Add the apricots and knead/mix for an additional minute or so.
- Move the dough to an oiled bowl or dough rising bucket and let it rise until doubled, about 90 to 120 minutes.
- Deflate the dough and cut it into three equal pieces.
- Roll the pieces into 15 inch long pieces.
- On a parchment lined baking sheet, place the pieces next to each other and, at one end, press the pieces together and tucking them under the beginning of the braid.
- Braid the strands and, when finished, tuck the other end under the loaf.
- Cover the braid with plastic wrap and allow it to rise until doubled, about 60 to 90 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Beat the remaining egg and brush it over the loaf.
- Bake the loaf for about 40 minutes.
- Cool completely on a wire rack.
We are cooking with fruits, vegetables, or whole grains beginning with the letters U, V, or W. This month, I’ve chosen whole wheat.