This is a very straightforward challah that is simple to make and can easily be doubled for two larger loaves.
- 1 envelope active dry yeast (where to buy)
- 1 cup warm water (hot really – 115 degrees – hotter than you would think)
- 3 pastured eggs (two whole and 1 reserved for egg wash at the end)
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted (where to buy)
- 1/3 cup raw honey (where to buy)
- 4 cups sprouted spelt flour (where to buy)
- 1 Tbsp. sea salt (where to buy)
- cinnamon, to taste for sprinkling (where to buy)
- flax seeds for topping (optional)
- Stir yeast packet into 8 oz. of warm water @ 115°F (wrist test). Wait for yeast mixture to bubble and foam (5-10 min). Mix flour and salt together into a bowl. Combine and mix two eggs, honey, and coconut oil in a stand mixer (with a dough hook). Add yeast mixture to the egg mixture while running. Slowly add the flour (in 3 phases). Mix until the dough is pulling away from the sides of the mixing bowl into a ball. If it seems a bit dry add more water one tablespoon at a time.
- Remove from mixer and gently knead into a ball, pushing the dough away from you with the heel of your palm 5-10 times. Place dough in an oiled bowl. Cover with a damp towel. Place bowl in warm place, until it doubles in volume (1-1.5 hrs depending on the temp of your kitchen).
- After rising, take dough out of the bowl and don’t punch it down or knead it. For one large challah, divide into three or four equal pieces depending on how you want to braid it. Using a rolling pin, gently roll out each piece of dough to about 1/4 inch thick – don’t worry about the shape. At this stage you can optionally sprinkle cinnamon on the discs and then gently roll up (like a fruit roll up) into ropes 12” long and 1” thick.
- Place ropes on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Braid ropes using 3 or 4-braid technique. Pinch ends together and tuck under. Cover loaf w/ damp towel. Return to warm place to rise again for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°F and set rack in center position. Whisk 1 reserved egg and 1 Tbsp. water. Brush top of loaf with egg wash. Sprinkle with flax seeds, if desired. Bake for 30-35 min. (depends on your oven), or until golden brown or until digital thermometer reads at least 190 degrees.