Wholemeal Challah with Raisins

Wholemeal Challah with Raisins


48 people made this

About this recipe: This is a wholemeal take on the classic Jewish bread. It's sweetened with honey, enriched with eggs and dotted with raisins. Enjoy freshly baked with lashings of butter, if desired.


Makes: 2 loaves

  • 480g wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dried active baking yeast
  • 2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
  • 175g honey
  • 125ml olive oil
  • 250ml warm water
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons raisins or to taste (optional)

Prep:30min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Extra time:1hr30min proofing  ›  Ready in:2hr30min 

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, yeast and vital wheat gluten until well mixed. In another bowl, stir together the honey, olive oil, water, eggs and raisins. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and stir until it forms a dough.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form the dough into a round shape. Lightly oil a bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn the dough over a few times to oil the surface. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch down the dough, knead it a few times to remove some of the bubbles and cut it into 2 equal-sized pieces. Set 1 piece of dough aside under a cloth to prevent drying out while you shape or braid the first loaf as desired.
  4. Working on a floured surface, roll the small dough pieces into ropes about the thickness of your thumb and about 15cm long. Ropes should be fatter in the middle and thinner at the ends. Pinch 3 ropes together at the top and braid them. Starting with the strand to the right, move it to the left over the middle strand (that strand becomes the new middle strand.) Take the strand farthest to the left and move it over the new middle strand. Continue braiding, alternating sides each time, until the loaf is braided and pinch the ends together and fold them underneath for a neat look. Repeat for the other loaf, place the braided loaves on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve warm for best flavour.

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