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Fine-grained and pleasantly chewy, challah is ideal for sandwiches. These loaves will give you the perfect shape to slice for sandwiches.
Makes 2 (9-inch) loaves
Lior Lev Sercarz, from "Mastering Spice" by Lior Lev Sercarz
1 cup lukewarm water (210 grams)
1⁄4 cup sugar (50 grams)
3 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour (500 grams)*
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (35 grams), plus more for the bowl
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon labne or plain whole milk Greek yogurt (25 grams)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (4 grams)
2 large eggs (120 grams), at room temperature
1⁄4 cup white sesame seeds, preferably unhulled (40 grams), for sprinkling
Whisk the warm water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar (5 grams) in a medium bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Combine the flour, oil, labne, salt, 1 of the eggs, the nigella, turmeric, yeast mixture, and the remaining sugar (45 grams) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed, scraping the bowl occasionally, until the dough comes together in a firm, stretchy mass, about 7 minutes.
Turn out onto a clean work surface and knead to form a tight ball, about 2 minutes. Lightly oil the mixer bowl, return the dough to it, and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Grease two 9 × 5-inch loaf pans. Divide the dough into six pieces (160 grams each) and roll each into a tight ball.
Place three balls of dough in each prepared pan. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until the dough has risen to the pans' rims, about 45 minutes.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Beat the remaining egg with a few drops of water and gently brush it over the loaves to lightly coat. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Bake until golden brown and well risen, about 19-20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature.
* please note that the printed recipe in Mastering Spice has an error. 3 3/4 cups is the correct quantity of flour, not 2 3/4 as stated in the book. The weight is correct in both cases.
The baked challah can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw before reheating it in the oven or cutting slices and toasting.