For those that don't know, a challah is a braided bread usually served on Sabbath. It's a similar bread to brioche and I've stepped away from the traditional methods by adding spices and using jaggery and poppy seeds. Rather than faff around with complicated braiding I've just rolled strips of the dough into poppy seeds before coiling them into individual buns. They're great as they are with a coffee or cut them in half, toast and slather with butter. Traditions are made to be broken, right?
not quite challah
Makes 12 rolls
- 2 x 7g packs active dry yeast
- ¼ cup jaggery, or brown sugar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 egg yolks
- 3¼ cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- Poppy seeds
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
In a small bowl combine the yeast and 1 cup of tepid water and allow to sit for about 10 minutes until foamy.
In a separate bowl combine the jaggery, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg then whisk this into the yeast liquid along with the oil and egg yolks.
Add the flour and salt and stir to form a dough. Turn the dough onto a work surface and knead until smooth for around 8 minutes. Cover and allow to sit in a warm place until doubled in size for about an hour. Punch down the dough, cover, and allow to sit for a further 45 minutes.
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper or lightly oil 12 small tins.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Scatter poppy seeds over the work surface and roll each piece of dough into a long and thin strip, about 8 mm in thickness. Coil the strip of dough into a bundle and place onto the tray or, if using, into the bowl. Repeat with remaining dough pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Brush the risen challah with the beaten egg, scatter over a little more poppy seeds and bake for about 20 minutes or until browned.