Monday, 27 May 2013


                                                                                                Looks like a sick, six-legged  octopus, right?    


Mondays are crazy around here. There's school, football training, volleyball training, homework, piano, reading.... It's busy, there's no two-ways about it. Fitting proper meals in is hard. We always, always, sit down to meal together. But it's usually late when we do, so snacks are absolutely vital to keep us going until dinnertime. This challah is not only excellent to have with a meal later tonight, it's also great for a quick sandwich on the go, or just buttered and eaten in the car from one event to another... or scarfed, slice after slice, standing over the kitchen counter mid-photo-shoot... No idea how I know about that.

adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 2 loaves

1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup olive oil, plus extra for greasing
5 eggs
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
1kg plain flour, give or take (enough to make the dough come together)
Poppy seeds for sprinkling

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water.

Whisk the oil into the yeast, then beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, with remaining sugar and salt. Gradually add the flour (enough to make the dough come together).

Turn the dough onto a floured counter top and knead until smooth. Clean out bowl and grease it, then return the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size.

Punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour.

To make a 6-braid challah, follow these instructions: How to braid a 6 strand Challah
Because to try and explain this to you in text, makes my brain hurt.

Make a second loaf the same way.

Place braided loaves on a greased baking tray with at least 5 cms in between.

Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaves. Let them rise another hour.

Preheat oven to 190 degrees and brush loaves again. Sprinkle bread with poppy seeds.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. Cool loaves on a rack.


  1. Beautiful pictures, I want a piece for breakfast :)

  2. SO gorgeous! I love challah - making it, and eating it (the braiding part is my favorite). Have you tried the fig, olive oil, sea salt challah from Smitten Kitchen? It's amazing.

  3. Challah is one of my favorite breads. The addition of poppy seeds definitely brings this up a notch. Love the shot with the egg shell; clever.

  4. Wow great recipe! Love the poppy seeds on top!

  5. This is soooo good for toast Gabrielle.

  6. I live the braiding part too Kristen. I haven't tried it yet, but will on your recommendation.

  7. Thanks Patty. I adore poppy seeds - the look and taste.

  8. Thank you Ana - the poppy seeds really do add that "little extra something".

  9. Wow, your challah looks amazing!! I've always wanted to be good at baking bread... the whole 'from scratch' yeasted baking thing. So far I fail, more often than not! I will definitely try your recipe though. The crumb looks beautiful and the crust is so lovely and golden. Love your blog! This is my first visit.

  10. Thanks so much Laura, and welcome. Baking is a passion of mine. I had lots of failures when I started out. I think baking is a confidence thing. If you keep trying (finding really good recipes to follow), once you have success. you won't be able to stop.