Challah Mummy Allegra's braided challah bread
Braiding might be the buzz word when it comes to hair trends for 2018, but have you ever tried braiding bread? If the answer is no, then get ready because we’re in the kitchen ready to get our bake-on with a workshop by Allegra Benitah or Challah Mummy - who started baking to entertain her little boy and just happens to be Vanessa Feltz's daughter!
They join us today to bake sweet, savoury and rainbow Jewish challah bread.
1 teaspoon caster sugar1 portion of fresh yeast (approx. 40g, otherwise 1 tablespoon of active dried yeast)360ml of lukewarm water1-1.5 kilos of plain flour (approx.)2 eggs (plus one more egg yolk/white for the egg wash depending on the finish required)2-4 tablespoons of caster sugar1 tablespoon of salt60ml sunflower oilFood colouring pastes, optional
Dissolve the teaspoon of sugar and the yeast in the lukewarm water in a large mixing bowl.
Once bubbles start to appear on the surface of the water, pour in about a third of the flour, followed by the two eggs, the rest of the caster sugar, the salt and the oil.
Get your hands into the dough and combine the mixture, adding flour little by little as you go, until you get a big ball of dough. You will know when the dough is ready to knead because it shouldn’t stick to your hands any more. If you want to colour the dough, mix it until just before it fully comes together and separate it into pieces at this point. Colour each piece using food colouring paste, then continue with method below, kneading and rising each colour separately.
Sprinkle flour on a clean work surface, tip your dough out onto it and knead for 5 minutes, adding a bit of flour if it gets too sticky again.
Drizzle a little bit of leftover sunflower oil around the big bowl, place the ball of kneaded dough back inside and cover with cling film. Leave the dough to rise for about an hour and a half or until it has doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, give it a little punch to knock the air back out of it. Place it back on the floured work surface and knead it a little bit, with a bit of flour if needed, so that it’s ready to shape (and fill if required).
Once you’re happy with your shape, pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees C and leave your dough to rise again under cling film/clean tea towel for about half an hour.
Brush egg wash all over your dough with the egg yolk/white. Bake for 30 minutes at the bottom of the oven and enjoy!