This is my savory Challah, while the Apple Raisin version is great for breakfast or desserts, the herb crusted Parmesan Challah is more suited to being pared with your savory dinners or as a great sandwich bread. I love splitting the recipe in half and finishing half as a Savory Challah and the other half as a dessert.
Yield: Makes 2 loaves
Active time: 45 minutes
Total time: 4 hours
For the bread
• 2 tablespoons dry yeast
• 1 tablespoon plus 3/4 cup (155 g) granulated sugar
• 5 large eggs
• 3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetable oil, such as canola or safflower
• 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 6 cups (870 g) all-purpose flour
For the topping
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• sprinkle fresh rosemary and chives
• 1/8 cup fresh Parmesan
1. Combine 1/2 cup warm water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a small bowl. Stir until the yeast dissolves. Let the mixture sit for ten minutes, it should look foamy.
2. In the large bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment or with a hand-held mixer, beat the eggs at medium speed until well blended. Add the oil, salt, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Beat until pale in color, about 4 minutes. Beat in 2/3 cup water, then add the yeast mixture. Beat in the flour 1 cup at a time.
3. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes (or use the dough hook on your mixer for 1 minute at low speed). Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn it to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and put in a warm corner of your kitchen to rise. I like to use my (unheated) oven with the lightbulb on. You want the dough to double in size, which takes just about an hour.
4. Punch down the dough, and cover with a kitchen towel, let the dough rise for 30 more minutes. It won’t quite double in this time, but it will puff up.
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Roll each half into large balls.
6. Take each large ball of dough and roll it out to a tube that is roughly eighteen inch long with tapered ends, then twist the dough into a Spiral and tuck the ends under, set on baking sheet.
7.Cover the loaves with kitchen towels, and let them rise for 45 minutes.
8. Uncover the round Spiral Challah and coat it with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic powder, rosemary, and chives, then dust it with a heavy layer of Parmesan cheese.
9. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set a rack to the middle position. Bake for 30 minutes or until the Challah is browned and sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom. Put on a wire rack to cool.
Recipe based on The Holiday Apple Raisin Challah from Epicurious
by Amy Traverso