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Fluffiest Challah Ever (White Spelt Challah)

Parve Parve
12 Servings Serving Icon
2 Hours Preferences Icon

Over the years, I’ve contributed various challah recipes to the magazine — whole wheat challah, water challah, and more — but this is the best challah I’ve ever tasted. And that’s the opinion of all family members and guests who’ve tried it. It looks like white challah, tastes like white challah (better actually), and is made with white spelt flour.   Yields 2 large, 6 medium , 6 small challahs, with enough dough left over for 2 onion boards; or 6 large and 5 medium challahs


Prepare the Fluffiest Challah Ever

1. Dissolve yeast in water with one tablespoon sugar and let proof for 10 minutes.
2. In mixer, place one and a half cups sugar, salt, egg yolks, and egg with 2.2 pounds (one kilogram) flour. Add the yeast mixture. Add another 2.2 pounds (one kilogram) flour with half a cup oil. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add another 2.2 pounds (one kilogram) flour with another half cup oil. Gradually add the final 2.2 pounds (one kilogram) flour with the remaining half cup oil, and dough enhancer, if using. Sometimes you won’t need the entire quantity of flour. (Rule of thumb — less flour is always better. If the dough comes together and is not sticky, don’t use the full amount. Many factors come into play to determine how much flour you’ll need — temperature in the kitchen, power of mixer, quality of flour, etc.)
3. Put the dough into a greased large bowl or garbage bag and let rise for 40 to 60 minutes. Shape and let rise for another half an hour. Partway through the rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).
4. Brush the challahs with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame and poppy seeds. Alternatively, mix together streusel ingredients to form crumbs. Sprinkle over challahs after brushing with egg wash.
5. Bake challahs for 30 to 40 minutes, switching the trays halfway through the baking time. Remove from pans to wire rack to cool. Cool completely before freezing.


When I don’t have time to braid and bake immediately, I put the bag with the dough into the fridge for a few hours (or even overnight), and let it come to room temperature before proceeding. You can freeze unused egg whites for future use (think angel food cake, to add to an omelet etc.). I like to weigh the dough before shaping my challahs so they’re all evenly sized.


To give your challahs a dark, shiny glaze, add one teaspoon each of oil, instant coffee granules, and sugar to your egg. Brush over challahs. (Don’t use this glaze if sprinkling the challahs with streusel.)


Food and Prop Styling by Renee Muller
Photography by Hudi Greenberger