Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Rye, Spelt, and Oat Challah

If you want to make this recipe purely sugar free, you can try to substitute honey for the sugar that is used to activate the yeast.
If you don't have white spelt flour available, you can increase the amount of whole spelt flour, but you may have to play with the flour/water ratio.
If you substitute whole wheat and white flour for the whole grain and white spelt flour, you'll need to add some more water.
I often freeze the dough before braiding it. To use, defrost, let come to room temperature, braid and continue with the recipe.


4.5 tsp. dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2-3/4 cup honey
1 cup water
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 3/4 T. salt
2 cups whole rye flour
2 cups oatmeal
4 cups whole spelt flour
1 cup of white spelt flour

For the top:
sesame seeds


In a small bowl mix 3/4 cup warm water and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and leave for about 10 minutes. Stir and leave for a few more minutes until it begins foaming.
In a large bowl mix the eggs, honey, water, and oil. Add the yeast and stir. Add the flours a few cups at a time, stirring after each addition. Add the salt. Knead the dough for about 15-20 minutes. The dough will be very dense, sticky, and a little tough. Add more flour if neccessary, but try not to add too much unless you really need to, the more flour you add, the drier the bread will be.
Cover the dough and let it rise until it's tripled in size, it will take several hours. (I usually refrigerate it overnight and in the morning it's finished rising.) Punch down the dough and let it rise again, until double. (Another 2 hours or so.)
Divide the dough into 4-5 pieces. Braid each section and place it on a piece of baking paper on a baking pan. Cover the dough and let rise a third time, for about an hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brush the loaves with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are lightly brown on top and bottom, and sound slightly hollow when tapped with your fingers.

Yield: 4-5 medium loaves


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