Challah with Healthy Ingredient Swaps
Challah is a type of bread that is traditionally made to celebrate the Jewish sabbath and consumed on Friday nights. Friday night Challah bread is very special to me. Ever since I married my husband, Barak, I made a promise to myself that every Friday night dinner I will try to have homemade challah for our family. I don't have time to make it every Thursday night so I make large batches (that uses 5lbs to make the jewish blessing over it) and it lasts me a couple months. I decided to do a bunch of healthy swaps and see how it turns out. And I am happy to say that it tastes awesome - maybe more like a cake/dessert than the traditional savory challah but I LOVE it, and I have gotten A LOT of compliments on it when I bring it to my friends and family's shabbat dinner table. Try it and share the love - the most important ingredient added!
6 cups warm water
1 cup applesauce
3/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp maple syrup
3 Tablespoon chia seeds
5 lbs Arrowhead Mills whole wheat flour (usually 14-18 cups of flour)
*Note: If 5 lbs of flour is used a blessing is said for the commandment (mitzvah) of separating challah.
1 cup ground flaxseeds
6 packages yeast
¼ cup Goji Berries
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup walnuts
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1. In a medium size bowl dissolve yeast in 2 cups warm water. Set aside 5-10 minutes.
2. In a medium size bowl, add 9 Tbsp of water to 3 Tbsp of chia seeds, let sit until becomes gel texture. Set aside 5-10 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, combine honey, maple syrup, 3 cups of water, applesauce, eggs and chia eggs, mix well. Add in yeast mixture.
4. Gradually add dry ingredients (except toppings) and knead dough until elastic. Add remaining water accordingly if too dry or too sticky.
5. Allow the dough to rise covered in an oiled bowl for 1 hr.
6. Break off a small piece of dough (approximately a kezayit/olive size) and recite the blessing “Ba-ruch A-tah A-do-noi Elo-Hai-Nu Me-Lech Ha-O-Lam A-Sher Kid-Sha-Nu B’Mitz-Vo-Tav V’Tzi-Va-Nu L’Haf-Rish Chal-Lah,” then verbally declare “Harei zu challah.” This is now an opportune and auspicious time to pray. Then double wrap this piece of dough in aluminum foil and burn.
7. Punch down dough and knead again, and add in toppings. Oil surface to avoid mixture sticking to surface. Form and braid challah mixture to desired shapes and place in greased pans. Allow to rise 1 hr.
8. Whisk together an egg and 1 tablespoon water and brush over the risen dough.
9. Place in medium size baking tins and bake the challah until golden, 45 min-1 hr. Place on a rack to cool.
Enjoy! Shabbat Shalom!