Challah with Fresh Yeast

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I have several recipes for challah: Claudia Roden’s, Quick Challah and Ima’s Challah. But recently I have switched to a recipe with fresh yeast, less sugar and a mixture of flours. The taste is lovely so I thought I’d share it with you.

1 kg plain flour (I often use half white and half spelt
1 block of fresh yeast (42g)
20 cl sunflower oil
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

1 egg yolk
poppy or sesame seeds (optional)

Dissolve the yeast in 10cl of warm water. Whisk well and set aside.

In a large bowl, put the flour, sugar and salt. Add the yeast, the oil and 25cl of warm water. Mix well and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to rise for 90 minutes.

Once the dough has doubled in size, knead again very lightly and let the dough rise for another 1 hour.

Divide then the dough into four pieces to make 4 loaves and place on prepared baking sheet. Brush gently with the beaten egg yolk, making sure you brush the whole loaf so as not to get a contrast in colours. Sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds if using.

Bake in a preheated 400° F (200°C) oven for 25 minutes or until the loaves are beautifully golden-brown.

I often half the quantity and get two middle-sized loaves.