It’s wild garlic season and we were delighted to find it growing in East Cork last bank holiday weekend. There was wild garlic in the woods, in gardens and even by the roadside. We picked some large bunches of wild garlic flowers and leaves and took them home to make wild garlic pesto. We then filled our usual challah dough with the pesto and the result was magnificent!
Challah Mummy's Wild Garlic Challah
- Cooking and Prep: 4 h
- Serves: 8
Prepare the Dough
Pour the water into a bowl, add the extra teaspoon sugar and dissolve the yeast into the water. Once bubbles start to appear on the surface the water, pour in about a third the flour, followed by the two eggs, the rest the sugar, the salt and the sunflower oil.
Get your hands into the dough and combine the mixture, adding flour little by little as you go, until you get a big ball dough which doesn’t stick to your hands (you might not need all the flour – just see what your dough needs).
Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour and knead the dough for five to 10 minutes, adding a bit of flour if it gets too sticky again. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl covered in cling film to rise for about an hour and a half or until it has doubled in size.
Prepare the Wild Garlic Filling
Wash the wild garlic leaves and place them in a blender with the olive oil and a pinch salt and pepper to season the pesto. Mix the ingredients together in the blender until you have a smooth pesto. The smell of the pesto and its bright green colour should be fabulous!
Shape and Bake
Once risen, knock back the dough (to take the air out) and then roll it out on a floured surface with a rolling pin so it becomes a thin, long and flat rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into three long strips equal width (minimum 10 centimeters wide).
Use a teaspoon to add the wild garlic pesto down the centre of each strip in a long thin line leaving dough either side of the filling. Then pinch up the dough around the sides the filling and seal it at the top with your thumbs so that you have a long piece of challah dough filled with wild garlic pesto.
Once you have your three filled pieces challah dough, attach them together at the top and braid them into a simple three-strand braid. Then take your braid and wind it round into a swirl like a snail shell. Leave your shaped challah to rise again for 30 minutes under a clean cloth or cling film.
Egg wash your challah using egg white as this ensures that the finish on the challah is not too dark. Bake the challah for 25-30 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit at the bottom the oven. Once cooled, use the reserved wild garlic flowers to decorate your challah.
If using enough flour, don't forget to separate challah.