Not so long ago I tried Challah bread for the first time- I love how good it is but also love it because of what it represents. In Jewish culture Challah bread is made for Shabbat and other special occasions and shared between the whole family at the table. This Challah bread with dates and figs is soft, spongy, tasty and highly addictive.
This recipe is also my comeback to YouTube after 6 months! I cannot explain how much I’ve missed it! I love to show you the step by step of a recipe. And since it’s my return to your screens I made a double recipe for this Challah bread to show you how to make a 6-strand braid and also cute little buns that look really cute and are pretty easy to make.
This Challan bread is really versatile and you can use different flavours in it. In this case it has figs and dates in it and it turned out AMAZING. It makes it have tiny sweet surprises as you eat it. If you dip it in honey or spread some butter on it then it becomes the best ever (but again, what isn’t better with butter)? You can make the bread without the figs and dates or add other flavours. Some ideas include raisins, chocolate chips, herbs, etc. This recipe is based upon the one I read on @urischeft‘s book. I made a few changes according to what I like in a recipe :). I met Uri in a trip we made to Israel with Vibe Israel and he really is a god of bread.
Many times I get DMs from people saying they’re scared to make bread or to work with yeast. Honestly though, don’t be scared! The worst thing that can happen is that it doesn’t work and that’s about it. As a tip always check the “use before” date in your yeast. Also keep them always in the fridge (even the dry yeasts) for a better performance throughout their time.
Challah Bread with Dates and Dried FigsPrint Pin Rate
For the bread
- 500 g all purpose flour
- 5 g instant yeast or 10g dry yeast or 20g fresh yeast*
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 230 g lukewarm water
- 1 egg
- 40 g unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 40 g dates chopped
- 40 g dried figs previously hydrated for 10min in boiling water
To egg wash the bread
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
For the bread
- Mix all the ingredients except the figs and dates until you have a uniform dough. You can do it by hand or using the hook with a stand mixer. At this moment you can adjust the level of water of flour if needed. The dough should be wet but not stick to your surface or bowl sides.
- Add the dates and figs and knead the dough to incorporate. Don't knead it more than this, we want a really soft final product.
- Place the dough in a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic. I like to use shower caps so I can reuse them. You can also use bee's wax paper or cling film. Let the dough proof for an hour in a warm spot. I place it in my oven turned off but with the light on. Since that bulb isn't energy saving it emits a light heat.
- After an hour it's time to shape the bread. Braiding the bread is a great idea and for that you want to divide the dough in whichever amount to strands you'll use. Roll them out a bit into cilindres and then flatten them out. This flattening will shape the crumb. Roll them into cilindres again but this time make them long so you can braid them. Flour the strands before braiding so they don't stick to each other. That also helps if you miss a step and want to go back. Alternatively you can make buns with the dough. In the video for this recipe I teach you how to make a 6 braid strand and also small buns which are SO easy to make. I recommend that you go check them out! Also you can make a 3 strand braid but I wanted to show you something a bit different.
- Let the bread or buns proof again in a warm spot for an hour.
To egg wash the braid
- Whisk together the egg and water.
- Paint the bread with a layer of the mix and wait for 5 minutes and then paint it again.
- The bread goes to a preheated oven at 180C / 350F for 30-40min if it's a large bread of 15-20min if they're buns. They should be golden and also sound hollow if you knock gently at the bottom.