Challah is a traditionally prepared without garlic. I'm using garlic and herbs to add flavor to the bread.I choose whole grain wheat flour to add essential vitamins and fiber to the bread.Braiding the challah reminded me of braiding my long hair as a school girl. There are number of ways to braid the Challah,choose the simplest one to start.Braiding bread for the first time ,my challah wasn't exactly perfect .Hopefully more practice can improve my bread braiding skills.
3/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1\2 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon honey
1 large organic egg
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped herb(Parsley or Cilantro),if using any dry herb use 1 teaspoon of that.
1 tablespoon sesame seeds.
Combine water and sugar in a small bowl.Sprinkle the yeast over the top. Set aside until foamy,about 8 minutes
Put 2 cups of flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Whisk honey with egg,1 tablespoon olive oil and salt in a small bowl and pour into the well.Stir to combine. Add yeast mixture and knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until soft and supple,about 10 minutes.
Shape dough in to a ball and place in lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with clean kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size,about 1 hour. Turn dough on to a lightly flour surface knead for just a minute and shape in to ball and return to bowl. Cover and let rise again until double in size,about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375F
To Braid the Challah
Prepare garlic oil mixture by whisking together chopped herbs,1 tablespoon olive oil and minced garlic.
Turn dough on to a clean work surface and divide in to 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece and spread some garlic oil mixture and shape each piece in to a rope. Arrange ropes side by side on the work surface.
Starting at the far end braid the ropes. When the braid is finished,tuck both ends under and pinch to seal. Place loaf on a prepared baking sheet.Cover and let arise for another hour(that's total of 3 hrs of rising!).
After an hour brush loaf with egg and sprinkle the sesame seeds. Bake until golden brown,about 35 minutes.Cool on rack and slice,serve with any soup or stews.