June 11, 2011

White and Spelt Challah

I've had spelt flour in my fridge for a few months, waiting for me to make Zopf when I get around to it. It's time for a sandwich loaf (when is it not??), so I decided to add some spelt to challah and see what happens.

This recipe is modified from Challah I, a recipe that I found worked really well for my sandwich loaf needs. I used my large disposable loaf pan, but these can be made into two smaller free form braids.

White and Spelt Challah

makes 1 extra large loaf or 2 smaller loaves

1/3 cup honey
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup dry milk
2 eggs
2 cups unbleached spelt flour
4 cups unbleached white flour, plus more if needed
1 egg white
3 tbs milk

Dissolve the honey in the water in a large mixing bowl, and stir in the yeast.

Set the mixture aside until the yeast forms a creamy layer on top, about 15 minutes.

Stir in the salt, butter, dry milk and beaten eggs.

Add the flour 1 cup at a time until the dough is slightly tacky, but not sticky wet.

Turn it out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Lightly oil a bowl, place the dough in the bowl, turn the dough over a few times to oil the surface, then let rise until doubled in a warm, draft-free place, about 90 minutes.

To make the loaves, punch down the dough. Weigh and cut it into 3 equal-sized pieces.

Roll out each piece into a strand about 18 inches long (if yours are shorter, that's fine!).

Starting close to the top, braid the strands into a braid.  When done, go back to the very top and finish off the braid.

If using a large pan, fit into the pan, tucking the ends under as needed. If doing a free form bread, place on parchment lined baking sheet. Let the braided loaves rise for 1 hour.

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

Make a glaze by whisking together the milk and the egg white. Brush the braided loaves with the glaze, sprinkle with poppy seeds as desired

For loaf, bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, for free form loaf about 30 minutes.

Again submitting to yeastpotting!


  1. Forgot to add the 1/3 cup dry milk powder to the ingredients! Never try to type and parent at the same time. :)

  2. Lovely Challah !!
    I don't think we have here spelt flour...unless it's called differently

  3. Winnie, it may depend on where you live- I found mine in the "health food" section of my local large grocery store. Even the bulk food store didn't have it.

    It came out beautifully, a nice tan brown colour to the inside!

  4. Dear K. G.,

    I have searched high and low for a great challah recipe and I found it. I do use spelt flour due to gluten issue but also enjoy the flavor and consistency.
    To make it a parve bread I used "Better Than Milk" powdered Soy, it is excellent. I also replaced the butter with the same measurement of coconut oil. Can I tell you...the challah was the best I've made yet! Couldn't stop eating it even days after and that is the sign of some good bread for me. (I do not regularly consume bread)
    Thank you so much for your variation on a Jewish classic.
    I will try out your other recommendations.
    Happy 2013 :D