This caught my attention in the versatility it can be shaped, 5 braids, 6 braids, round braids and the likes. This recipe is also so simple and I have fallen in love with the feel of dough while kneading the bread dough into shape. The original recipe, however, used too much yeast and I felt the dough rose faster than I could handle the dough, so I halved the yeast and it worked better in our warm climate. I have already baked this twice and shared the lovely bread with my family and neighbours. This will be here to stay for the simplicity to bake and the few ingredients it requires. Here’s the recipe.
- 500g bread flour
- 250ml water
- 100g canola oil
- 30g sugar
- 7g dry yeast
- 0.5 tsp salt
- Mix bread flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Be careful to place yeast and salt on different sides as salt may cause the yeast to lose it effect.
- Create a well in the middle of the bowl and pour in the oil and the water.
- Use a scaper, mix the ingredients until it forms a rough dough in the mixing bowl. Knead a little till the dough comes together.
- Tip the dough onto a clean work surface and knead the dough using the heel of your hands until the surface because smooth and the dough does not stick to the work surface anymore. You can pinch a small dough and using your finger tips, stretch the dough gently and if you get the ‘window pane’ effect, your dough is ready to proof. The ‘window pane’ effect is the dough stretched to the point you can read the words of a newspaper when viewed through the stretched dough.
- Shape the dough into a round and place in a mixing bowl to proof for about 45 minutes. The dough is ready when it doubles in size.
- Punch the air out of the proofed dough, and divide into 6 portions if you are doing the 6 braided challah. I watched a video to learn how to braid.
- Transfer the braided dough to a tray and leave to rest for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C.
- Egg wash the top of the dough and sprinkle some sesame seeds if desired.
- Bake in oven for about 45 minutes or until the bread is golden brown.
- Leave to cool completely before cutting or storing.
I did a variation just to experiment. I reduced the water to 200 ml and added 100g of pulut hitam. The dough was stickier, but still manageable, but 100g may not be enough for the flavour to come through, there was a light purple tinge to the dough and I kind of like it.
I really like that this bread requires only a few ingredients and it is simple to make as well. The only complexity is the shaping and this can easily be learnt by watching a few videos. I’ll be trying this again soon and this time round, I’ll remember to seal and neaten the ends.
I had egg wash and bread left, so I baked a small dish of bread pudding. It needs some ice-cream or custard sauce to taste better.