It is no wonder the public often thinks there is no way to enjoy a delicious slice of spelt challah or bread, as it always comes brick-heavy in stores: Mine is light and delicious, and I hope you make it before the austerity week sets in!
4 tablespoons active dry yeast
4 cups warm water
1/2 cup honey, sugar or sucanat
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
12 cups spelt flour
1 egg, beaten with 1/4 cup water
Sesame or poppy seeds (optional)
Mix the yeast, water and honey or sugar in a big bowl, and let the mixture bubble for about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, oil and salt, and beat. Add the flour, and mix thoroughly. Transfer the mixture to a lightly-floured flat working surface, and knead for about 15 minutes, turning the dough a quarter of a turn every 2-3 minutes and punching it down often to eliminate any air pockets (or transfer the mixture to the bowl of a dough maker. Set for 10 minutes of kneading). Transfer the kneaded dough into a big mixing bowl (remember, it will expand). Sprinkle flour all around the dough. Let rise, covered with a cloth, in a warm draft-free area for 2 hours.
Shape the Challah: divide the dough into 4 pieces. Divide each piece into thirds and roll each third into a long thin rope. Pinch the 3 ropes together at one end to hold them in place. Braid, and place the braid on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Place the loaves well apart in the pan (you might need more than a pan: Bake one at a time). Brush each loaf with the egg-and-water mixture, and top with seeds if desired. Bake in a preheated 350*F oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Raisin Challah: Served on Rosh Hashanah. Add two cups of raisins to the dough, shape it into 4 round loaves (for each loaf, make a long thin rope, and roll it into a coil)
Date nut bread, sounds dead-good-for-you-serious, doesn’t it? That is until you taste it. Plump and moist and chock full of goodies. I make it with spelt flour too, so it’s a win-win.
1 cup diced dates, packed
1 cup dark or golden raisins
2 1/2 cups flour, all purpose, whole wheat pastry or spelt (as always, spelt is my favorite)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup agave syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup hot strong tea, decaf ok
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Mix the first set of ingredients together in a bowl. Mix the second set of ingredients in another bowl. Combine both mixtures, making sure not to overmix. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan, or 6-cup loaf pan, and bake 1 hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Muffins: Pour the batter into greased muffin molds (about 12 medium) and bake 30 minutes
If you are a frequent visitor of this site then you have noticed multiple recipes from my friend Mira Martinez. She is an amazing cook who has introduced me to some great recipes that I might not have tried otherwise. (coconut milk chicken and quinoa salad are just two of the many unique dishes that I sampled at her shabbat table!) Regardless of whether she is having a mexican themed meal or trying indian cuisine, her challah is always the same recipe and it’s a classic. It is slightly sweet with a soft cake like texture and it’s been the death of many of my diets.
2 Cups Flour
3 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Water
Sugar and Cinnamon OR Powdered Sugar
Frying Pan with 1/2 inch of oil in bottom
1.Mix the first four ingredients together and let sit for a few minutes.
2. Pull off donut-hole sized balls and flatten them to roughly the size of a donut. (Use a flour dusted surface)
3. Cut a hole from the middle. You can use a knife or a pop bottle lid. (If this is not working out just make rip off chunks and make them without holes)
4. Heat the oil in the frying pan and place the donuts into it. They will start swelling almost immediately.
5. Once the donut has turned slightly brown on the bottom flip it over to the other side to brown.
6. Remove from oil, pat with a paper towel if very greasy, and sprinkle sugar/cinnamon or powdered sugar on it!
7. Eat, get fat, and be happy.