Challah Rolls

A Jewish bread, traditionally eaten on the Sabbath, which is made from an enriched yeast dough and then plaited and glazed before baking. This recipe makes about 12 – 15 rolls.


About 325g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting

½ teaspoon salt

25g white sugar

30ml vegetable oil

½ tablespoon easy-blend yeast OR ½ tablespoon fresh or dried yeast

125ml warm water

1 egg (plus a bit more for glazing)

Poppy seeds or sesame seeds (optional)

Put the flour salt and sugar into a large bowl and rub in the butter.

Mix in the dried easy-blend yeast (if using),

Or, if using fresh yeast, put it into a small bowl and mix with a little of the measured water. You’ll add this into your other wet ingredients before adding it to the flour (see below)

Mix the water and eggs together in a jug (and add the fresh yeast from the small bowl, if using.)

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the contents of the jug.

Using one hand only, mix together until you have a very rough, sticky, soft, lumpy ball of dough. Add more water if necessary.

Turn it out onto a well-floured surface, and knead it until it is smooth and springy. It should be fairly soft.

Lightly grease the cleaned mixing bowl and place the dough in it, turning it over so that it gets a coating of oil – this will prevent it from forming a skin while it is proving.

Place a piece of cling film, or a tea towel over the bowl and set aside until the dough has doubled in size (about 1 – 2 hours in a warm kitchen).

Turn the risen dough out onto a floured surface and knead it again for a minute.

Divide it 12 – 15 pieces, one for each roll.

Then split each piece of dough into 3 equal pieces. Form each piece into a sausage shape, stick one end of each strand together and plait them, pressing the other ends together, and tucking them underneath to neaten it up when you are finished.

Line a baking tray with baking paper and carefully place your plaits onto it. Brush with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds if you like.

Cover loosely with cling film or a tea towel. Allow the rolls to rise for about 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 220°C/gas 8 and put the bread in near the top (but allow room for rising). After 10 minutes have a look at the bread, and if necessary turn it round and lower the heat. Bake for a further 10 or so minutes. The bread should look dark golden and the bottom should have formed a bit of a crust.

Allow the bread to cool on a rack

Method

Put the flour salt and sugar into a large bowl and rub in the butter.

Mix in the dried easy-blend yeast (if using),

Or, if using fresh yeast, put it into a small bowl and mix with a little of the measured water. You’ll add this into your other wet ingredients before adding it to the flour (see below)

Mix the water and eggs together in a jug (and add the fresh yeast from the small bowl, if using.)

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the contents of the jug.

Using one hand only, mix together until you have a very rough, sticky, soft, lumpy ball of dough. Add more water if necessary.

Turn it out onto a well-floured surface, and knead it until it is smooth and springy. It should be fairly soft.

Lightly grease the cleaned mixing bowl and place the dough in it, turning it over so that it gets a coating of oil – this will prevent it from forming a skin while it is proving.

Place a piece of cling film, or a tea towel over the bowl and set aside until the dough has doubled in size (about 1 – 2 hours in a warm kitchen).

Turn the risen dough out onto a floured surface and knead it again for a minute.

Divide it 12 – 15 pieces, one for each roll.

Then split each piece of dough into 3 equal pieces. Form each piece into a sausage shape, stick one end of each strand together and plait them, pressing the other ends together, and tucking them underneath to neaten it up when you are finished.

Line a baking tray with baking paper and carefully place your plaits onto it. Brush with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds if you like.

Cover loosely with cling film or a tea towel. Allow the rolls to rise for about 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 220°C/gas 8 and put the bread in near the top (but allow room for rising). After 10 minutes have a look at the bread, and if necessary turn it round and lower the heat. Bake for a further 10 or so minutes. The bread should look dark golden and the bottom should have formed a bit of a crust.

Allow the bread to cool on a rack

Ingredients

About 325g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting

½ teaspoon salt

25g white sugar

30ml vegetable oil

½ tablespoon easy-blend yeast OR ½ tablespoon fresh or dried yeast

125ml warm water

1 egg (plus a bit more for glazing)

Poppy seeds or sesame seeds (optional)

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