There are few things in the world that smells more like home than freshly baked bread. It takes me back to times on the farm where Gran would bake bread in the old wood stove. The aroma would fill their humble home and come chasing after you on the wind, pulling you from the puddles outside and making you impatient waiting for it to reach it’s golden crown. The bread you ate with chunks of freshly churned butter, and downed it with the creamy milk from the dairy. It didn’t have to stay fresh for a week, because by evening’s end, nothing would be left but a few crumbs.
This recipe I got from a friend, it is a traditional Jewish bread called “Challah”. They would use the big recipe to bake three breads on the Friday, so that there would be enough for the whole of the Sabbath.
7 cups Bread Flour/Cake Flour
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Yeast
½ cup Olive Oil
6 Tbsp Sugar
- Preheat your oven to 140 degrees.
- Mix the yeast with a bit of lukewarm water. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
- Beat the eggs together with the oil and salt.
- Add the sugar to the flour.
- Make a hole in the flour and pour in the egg and the yeast mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Add enough lukewarm water to make the mixture come together.
- Time to get your hands dirty! Knead the mixture, adding flour if needed, until the dough comes away from the sides and forms a cohesive ball.
- Brush it with some oil, cover with cling wrap and wrap the bowl in a towel. Place it in a warm place to rise.
- When the dough has risen to twice its size, take it out and divide in two. Do not overwork the dough too much, it will compromise the second rise.
- Gently shape it into two rolls onto your baking sheet covered with baking paper, cutting each into 3 strips. Braid the strips and press the ends together.
- Brush with some egg wash and set it aside for an hour or two to rise again.
- When it has risen well, bake for 20 – 30minutes. Test it with a skewer that will come out clean if it is cooked.
- Brush one of the braids with olive oil, adding some coarse salt and herbs should you prefer.
- Drizzle honey over the other braid and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy it warm just like it is or with some butter.
Anéll describes her most important job as being wife to her farmer husband, Stephan and mother to their beautiful little girl, Lalika. Their family does not stop there, however, with Schnookie the lamb and Rose the puppy filling up the house and warming their hearts.
She owns and operates Sweetest Grace, a small business specialising in anything sewing related, and loves it when clients approach her with a new, unique project. Anéll enjoys being creative and laughing out loud with enjoyment, and tries daily to approach every new challenge with this spirit, be it cooking, sewing, baking, or décor for functions.