Bagels are the most famous Jewish breads in the world, but in recent years they’ve gained a thicker, tenderer, and friendlier competitor. The challah -pronounced challah-, a plaited bread whose origins date back to the fifteenth centuryhas climbed positions in the list of Networks Favorite Food thanks to its outstanding appearance and its extreme friendliness on the palate. Traditionally eaten on the Sabbath and other festivities, it is reminiscent of brioche because it contains eggs, it is soft and slightly sweet, but it is slightly lighter as no butter is used and oil is used instead.
To learn how to make this bread, we went to Mayr, the bakery that made it popular in Barcelona. Eran Mayer, manager of the premises, explained the history of this jewel and its manufacture, which is simpler than it seems. You have it all in the video above.
MAYER’S BAKERY CHALLAH
For 4 loaves
- 1kg flour
- 20 grams of salt
- 80 grams of sugar
- 30 grams of fresh yeast
- 4 eggs
- 250-300 grams of water
- 140 g vegetable oil (e.g. sunflower oil)
- poppy or sesame seeds (optional)
- Mix all ingredients by hand or in a food processor. Knead for about 10 minutes (if on a machine, first 5 on low speed and then on medium speed).
- Put the dough in a bowl, cover with cling film and let it rise for about 30 minutes (the exact time depends on the room temperature). The dough should double in volume.
- Place the dough on the work surface. Divide it into 4 parts and then each into 2 or 3. Make “sausages” out of them and braid them as shown in the video.
- Place the challah on a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover with a kitchen towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes. The dough should double in volume.
- Preheat the oven to 170-180 degrees.
- Brush the beaten egg challah with a brush. If you like, you can also sprinkle poppy seeds or sesame seeds on top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes and let cool.