Sourdough Challah with coconut & cardamom via @VindisKitchen
Servings: 10 -12 servings
For the starter
20 g fed active starter
80 g all purpose flour
35 g water
1 tbsp brown sugar
For the bread
All of the above starter ( roughly 130 g – 140 g)
480 g all purpose flour + 20 g extra to dust
1 heaped teaspoon of salt
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water ( might not need it all)
1/4 cup brown sugar/ white sugar
1/4 cup oil ( vegetable/canola)
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water
1 egg white + 1 tsp of sugar
Make the starter 8-10 hours prior to making bread ( overnight will do)
To make the bread dough, mix everything except for the water and start to mix on low speed. Add water gradually and keep mixing until everything comes together into a soft sticky dough ball Mix for a further minutes if your machine doesn’t sound strained Then take the dough out onto a floured surface, use slap and fold method to finish kneading the dough The dough should be smooth and manageable at this stage, but slightly on the sticky side.
Place the dough in a lightly greased container, cover and place in a warm environment for the bulk This may take 3-4 hours. Check for the increase in volume and smooth sponge like texture (check pictures above). Punch down the dough and roll back into a tight ball, place in a container, cover (make sure it’s airtight) and place in the fridge for several hours ( 12 – 24)
I usually leave it for 16 hours. Take the dough out of the fridge and leave at room temperature to soften up. Divide the dough into several equal pieces. You can decide how many strands you want for your Challah Roll out the dough pieces into long strands. Make sure they are tightly molded and no air bubbles are trapped in the dough. It will be difficult to roll out to the required length in one go. Leave the strands to rest for 5 minutes and then roll out again to the desired length. There is no specific length, this depends on how long you want your challah to be ( or the length of the tray).
Once you get the strands, do the braiding you prefer Make sure the ends are nicely tucked in or pinched tightly Place this on a tray lined with parchment and leave to proof
You can cover this loosely with plastic to stop from drying It might take about 3 hours to proof, do the poke test to make sure When challah is almost proofed, preheat the oven to 375 F
Egg wash the challah lightly. Use egg white + sugar for a dark brown(mahogany) shade with shine, use egg yolk for a golden (yellowish) color Bake for 30 – 40 minutes.
Always keep an eye. Check at 20 minutes mark to see if it is browning too quickly. If so, cover the top with foil. You can also rotate the pan for an even bake.
Once it is almost evenly golden brown, take it out of the oven and place the tray on a wire rack to cool you can brush this with a sugar syrup (mix one part sugar to one part water and boil for a minute) if you like or leave it as is, once cool enough to handle, lift it off the tray and place on a wire rack.