I’ve been getting into baking bread lately and a few days ago made my first challah. I thought it would be nice to try to make, since I love to eat it so much, but I figured the braiding might be too difficult so never mind. But that was just the laziness talking, and after overcoming the monumental task of typing “bread braiding techniques” into a search engine, I was well on my way to cracking the mystery of the 5-strand challah.
I was inspired by a video on braiding techniques made by The Bread Kitchen. Titli Nihaan’s tutorial was fascinating and helpful, and along with her charming accent and encouraging attitude, I felt ready to try it ASAP.
I used a recipe from King Arthur Flour called Millie’s Whole Wheat Challah. I love the comments on this website, and the fact that the KAF staff writes comments back. I followed the advice of Rachel from Oberlin, OH (second comment from the top) to give it a rest before adding the salt and kneading. Like her, I also used a bit less flour than called for. I used all whole wheat flour, rather than the combination of whole wheat and unbleached bread flour that the recipe calls for.
Overall it was fun, easy, and tasted great. It’s not as dense as I thought it would be after using all whole wheat flour. The challah flavor is definitely there, and it is still chewy and soft. It is thicker and a bit heavier than normal challah, but it didn’t turn out as the whole-wheat brick that I was slightly afraid of seeing at the end of the process. But then again, even a brick would taste half decent if you put enough butter on it 🙂