Tomorrow is the longest day of the year. Summer Solstice is upon us. This is a wonderful bread to celebrate with. This Whole Wheat Challah recipe is straight from King Arthur Flour. It is perfect just as is. You can form it into so many shapes. A simple braid is standard, but the sun is spectacular. I got the sun idea from the book Sun Bread by Elisa Kleven. Here is her recipe in the book. I prefer KAF's recipe, but I use her shaping to make the sun.
Whole Wheat Challah
1/2 cup (4 ounces) lukewarm water
6 tablespoons (2 5/8 ounces) vegetable oil
1/4 cup (3 ounces) honey
2 large eggs
2 cups (6 3/4 ounces) whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- Combine all of the ingredients and mix and knead them—by hand, mixer, or bread machine—until you have a soft, smooth dough. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, or until it’s puffy and nearly doubled in bulk.
- Lightly grease (or line with parchment) a baking sheet.
- Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Divide it into two pieces. Form a large ball with one piece for the center of the sun (here is a good guide for that). Place ball in center of baking sheet.
- Split remaining dough in half. Form 5-7 snakes. Curl those into "snails." Then form 5-7 triangles.
- Attach the curls and triangles to the center ball, using a little water if necessary.
- Cover the sun gently with damp towel or lightly greased plastic wrap and allow it to rise for about 1 hour, until it’s puffy, but not doubled in bulk. Near the end of the bread’s rise, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Uncover and bake the bread for 15 minutes, tent it with foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until it’s a deep, golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and after a minute or so carefully transfer it to a rack. Cool the bread before cutting it.