Challah bread with crumble.

Challah bread with crumble.

This sweet bread is known in many cultures by different names. In Polish, for example, it’s called ‘chalka‘, and in Slovak ‘vianočka’. The Brits sometimes call it the plait. It’s also well known in Jewish cuisine as it’s usually eaten on ceremonial occasions such as Sabbath.

This universal sweet bread usually appears on our European tables during Easter season. Its main characteristic is that it’s braided. Usually, it’s covered with crumble, poppy seed or sesame seed and it’s eaten with just butter, or butter and jam or honey.

Below you can find the recipe for classic ‘chalka’. Feel free to customize it as you wish by adding raisins, nuts or cranberries inside. You can also experiment with different toppings. There are also different ways of making the plait. I’ve made mine into basic three parts plait, but another well-known option is 5-way plait. This way you split your dough into five parts, roll them out and fold putting one roll on top of each other in the following order: roll no.1 on roll no.3, roll no.2 on roll no.3, roll no.5 on roll no.2. Keep on doing this until you use all of the rolls till the end. Once done, simply stick the endings together. Let me know which option you prefer.

Challah bread with crumble.

Challah bread with crumble.

Ingredients

  • 5 egg yolks + one whole egg

  • 25g of fresh yeast (or 8g of dried yeast)

  • 2 spoons of vegetable oil

  • 1 cup of warm water

  • 3 tbsp of white sugar

  • 3 and 3/4 of white wheat flour

  • 1 tsp of salt

  • For crumble on top:

  • 100g of butter

  • 200g of all purpose flour

  • 100g of white sugar

Challah bread with crumble.

Directions

  • Mix warm water with yeast in a large bowl.
  • Add egg yolks – make sure they are room temperature.
  • Add vegetable oil and sugar. Mix together.
  • Sift the flour into the mixture and add salt. Mix everything together slowly. If you are using electrical mixer, use the dough hook, as the mixture will become more sturdy at this point.
  • Once done, form the ball, cover in cling film and put into the fridge to rest for 1 hour. You can leave the dough overnight if you have more time.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge and split into two. This will make two loaves.
  • Now for the plait, there are different ways of doing it. I’ve made mine into a simple three-way plait. Firstly, split the dough into three parts. Make a roll from each one, about 2cm wide.
  • Join all 3 rolls together at one end. Then make a simple plait. Connect the endings together.
  • Move the loaf onto the backing tray layed out with backing paper.
  • Brush the top of the loaf with beaten up egg mixed with one spoon of water. Leave it to grow for 1 hour.
  • Prepare the crumble: Mix together flour, butter, and sugar. It’s easiest to do this by hand. You should get small crumbs from it. Put it in a fridge for 30min.
  • After loaves have risen, brush them with the egg once again then sprinkle the crumble all over it. Leave it to grow for about 1/2 hour (if you are using dried yeast you might have to leave it for longer – about 1 hour).
  • Bake the loaves in 180C for about 40min until golden from the top.
Challah bread with crumble.
Challah bread with crumble.
Challah bread with crumble.

My favorite way of eating challah is to top it with crumbled goat cheese and add some of the honey. I also, add few whole or crushed wallnuts to give it an extra crunch πŸ™‚

Challah bread with crumble.
Challah bread with crumble.
Challah bread with crumble.
 

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