I have been trying to make whole wheat challah using fresh milled flour for years with mixed success.
I have decided to start from scratch with a new recipe and make systematic modifications. The base recipe I will be using is here. For my first attempt, I made the recipe mostly as directed and found it to be basically good, but not sweet enough. Here is my plan for next time.
Honey Wheat Challah
- 320 g all purpose flour (2 2/3 cup)
- 475 g fresh milled hard white wheat (can substitute 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 3/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1/4 cup honey (85 g)
- 1 cup warm water (~90 F)
- 4 eggs beaten
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg beaten for glazing
- Combine first four ingredients in the stand mixer bowl and mix well
- Combine honey, water, eggs, and oil in a small bowl and whisk to combine
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix at low speed until well blended
- Let sit for 15 minutes
- Switch to dough hook and mix at speed 2 for 12-14 minutes.
- Turn dough onto floured surface and kneed by hand until it passes the window test.
- Put dough in greased bowl and cover with plate. Let rise 60 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Overnight modification: Put dough in greased bowl and cover with a plate. Put in fridge overnight. When ready to continue, take out of fridge and let sit on counter for 30 minutes or until doubled.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Punch down and divide into 12 equal sized balls. Cover them with a damp towel and rest for 30 minutes.
- Roll each ball into a long snake. Braid 4 snakes into a challah. This will result in 3 medium loafs.
- Put loafs onto a sheet plan with a silicon mat and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Allow to proof until a indent doesn't spring back. About 30 minutes
- Brush dough with beaten egg.
- Bake until it reaches an internal temperature or 195 F. About 25 minutes. rotate half way though.
- Cool before slicing.
Areas for experimentation: hard red vs hard white flour, honey and egg quantities, rising and overnight.