Thursday, June 10, 2010

Neshama & Nourishment: Half-and-Half Challah

Neshama & Nourishment
By Liorah Abrams 

Visit LadyMama every Thursday for "Easier Than It Looks" recipes from the kitchen of Liorah Abrams! 
Read more about Liorah on the author page

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Half-and-Half Challah
"Just as the water (Torah) helps the yeast to rise, so may it help our families to grow into something greater, from which we all are nourished." ~ Liorah


one x-large mixing bowl
one wooden spoon
measuring cups and measuring spoons
baking pans or sheets
cooling rack


4 1/4 cups  warm water
1 three-pack  active dry yeast
a pinch  white sugar
5  eggs
1 cup  canola or vegetable Oil
1 cup   dark brown sugar, packed well
1 cup   wheat germ
3 Tbsp  salt
5 lbs  flour - appx. half bread flour, half whole wheat flour
1/4 cup  oats - instant or old fashioned

Prep (30 Min):

1. Pour two cups of warm water into the mixing bowl.
Sprinkle a pinch of white sugar and a pinch of flour into water.
Gently pour yeast on top, rotating packages to spread grains over surface of water.
Allow to sit for 10 - 20 min, or until yeast is well activated.

2. Add eggs, oil, dark brown sugar, wheat germ and salt.
Use spoon to break yolks and stir mixture until sugar has dissolved.
Add half of the flour (the bread flour half) and stir until it is wet.
Add most of the rest of the flour, stirring until it becomes too thick to do so.

3. As you add the last of the flour, mix the dough by kneading. Dough should be slightly sticky without being overly gooey - it may take some patience to reach this point.
Knead the dough for 2 - 5 minutes after it has become fully mixed. (This can be done inside the bowl or on a flat surface).Form into large ‘blob’ and place in the bottom of the mixing bowl. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place.*

4. Dough should rise to more than double its original size - when it does, push it down, flip it and re-cover it.**

5. Take Challah (remove a small piece and make the blessing.)
Shape dough into 4 to 6 loaves and sprinkle with oats.
Grease your pan(s) by spraying them with Pam and then sprinkling a thin layer of flour on top.

6. Bake the loaves at 350˚- 365˚ F (depending upon your oven) for 35-45 min, checking frequently after 35 min.

When finished, remove from pan(s) and cool on rack for as long as necessary.

4 LadyMama voices:

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Will it affect the outcome dramatically if i use only white sugar?

Liorah Abrams said... [Reply to comment]

I have never made it with white sugar. It does affect the texture when baking, because it has a lower moisture content. I would recommend adding another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water if you are going to use white sugar.

If you decide to try it, please let us know how it turns out! Happy baking, and Good Shabbos!

Devorah said... [Reply to comment]

did you ever try this recipe with spelt flour? we're trying to go wheat-free...thanks!

Liorah said... [Reply to comment]

I have not tried it with spelt, but made an adapted version with rice flour for a guest that's a celiac once. I will gladly send you the instructions, if you email me at I am also planning to post it here at a later date... :)