Get ready for Rosh Hashanah or Shabbat with the Ultimate Whole Wheat Challah Recipe.
This post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast. Thank you for supporting the brands I love and use in my own kitchen, and that help me continue to share free recipes with you.
From the day I started this blog, there’s one recipe that I’ve gotten request after request after request for. And somehow, the time never came to share said recipe. Until today.
Let me back-track. When I’m dieting carefully, one of the things I avoid completely is white flour, which means that I’ve eaten a whole lot of whole wheat bread over the years. After trying numerous kinds, I discovered that most whole wheat bread falls into one of two categories: either it’s not very whole (i.e. mostly white flour and/or loads of sugar) or it’s just…not that good. My quest for 100% whole wheat bread, especially challah, that tastes great and has a great texture led me to start baking my own bread, which in turn, helped me come up with this: The Ultimate Whole Wheat Challah Recipe. And today, I’ve partnered with Red Star Yeast to bring you this recipe, just in time for Rosh Hashanah and the rest of the holidays.
Here’s the thing about whole wheat challah: it’s often heavy. So instead of letting that bug me, I decided to embrace it, and created a slightly-heavy, almost-cakey, and absolutely delicious challah recipe, that’s super crusty on the outside. If you’re intimidated by making challah and other yeast-based treats, make sure to start with good quality yeast, which will help ensure success. I love Red Star Yeast, and use it in my own challah to get the best, fluffiest dough possible.
I often make whole wheat challah for myself (let the rest of the family eat white challah – I’m not so good at sharing!) in small loaves or even rolls, but when you find the whole family asking for your whole wheat challah, you’ll want to make big loaves instead. Either way, this challah is amazing. Life changing, even. I know you’re going to love it!
- 2 slightly heaping Tablespoons Red Star Active Dry Yeast
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 2 cups warm water, divided
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 1-1⅓ cups honey* (see note)
- 4 eggs
- ⅔ cup oil
- 9 cups whole wheat flour, preferably white whole wheat
- 1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
- sesame seeds, for topping
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine yeast, sugar and ½ cup of warm water. Mix lightly to incorporate ingredients, then allow mixture to sit for about 5 minutes, until it starts bubbling.
- Add remaining water, salt, honey, eggs and oil. Turn mixer to low and add the flour, about two cups at a time, until all flour has been added and a dough is formed.
- Knead dough on medium-low for about ten minutes, then cover the dough and allow it to rise for about an hour and a half.
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Grease oval shaped "challah" pans OR a baking sheet and set aside.
- Divide dough into 5 portions for small challah, or 3 portions for large challahs. Divide each portion into 3 or 4 strands and braid into a loaf. Dough may be sticky, so use additional flour, as needed, to braid.
- Place each loaf into a "challah" pan or on a baking sheet.
- Brush the top of each challah with beaten egg, then sprinkle sesame seeds over it.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the challah.
*Note: I like a sweeter challah, so I add 1 1/3 cups honey. If you prefer yours less sweet, add just a cup of honey.
Plan Ahead: This challah freezes nicely. Cool completely then store in an airtight bag. Reheat straight from freezer until warmed through.
With Rosh Hashanah right around the corner, there’s no need to eat food that will make you feel guilty and heavy! Start the new year right with the Ultimate Whole Wheat Challah Recipe.
Thanks folks for stopping by! I know you’re going to love this recipe – then make sure to come back soon for Holiday meal planning help! -Miriam