The Daring Bakers group has been one of my favourite foodie groups in the blogosphere. They have given me some wonderful ideas for bakes, amazing recipes, and great opportunities to bake with friends and foodies delicious eats that one might never attempt alone!! The May Daring Bakers Challenge was just one such challenge. Having never baked a challah loaf before, I was truly excited about May at the Daring Bakers. All the recipes offered by Ruth were so beautiful that I could not decide which one to go for. Finally I made a whole wheat vegan version of Ruth's "Go To" Whole Wheat Challah!
Amazing is all I can say for the experience of braiding and baking this bread. My loaf is darker that most whole wheat loafs as it does not use any white four at all. I substituted it with a combination of stone ground whole wheat flour and Atta flour | Indian Flat bread Flour. Further I have added some flax meal to improve the texture and elasticity of the bread. Both these ingredients contributed to the denseness of the challah and its colour. The bread was delicious, perfect in shape, with softness and denseness balanced out. A real keeper. Thanks for the challenge Ruth!!
2 cups whole wheat flour, stone ground
1 cup atta | Indian flat bread flour
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
Pinch of turmeric
2 tbsp flax meal
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp canola oil
2 - 21/2 cups water (as needed)
2 tbsp yeast
1 tbsp agave nectar
- Warm a half cup of water. Stir in the sugar, then the yeast and allow it to proof.
- In another half cup of water, stir in the flax meal.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the whole wheat four, the atta, vital wheat gluten, salt, and turmeric.
- Once the yeast is ready, pour in the flax meal blend, another cup of water, and the oil.
- Mix well and pour into the sifted flours.
- Prepare a soft and pliable dough. Knead for 5 minutes.
- Place in an oiled bowl, cove with cling film, and allow to proof, about an hour.
- Punch down the dough, knead, and do a second proof.
- After the second proof, punch the dough, knead for 5-7 minutes, and then braid as directed in the original recipe. I made a six braid challah.
- Braid, place on a prepared baking tray. Prepare a light wash by mixing the agave nectar with a tablespoon of water. Brush the bread. Cover and proof until it has double.
- Brush with agave wash once again and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Cool completely before enjoying.
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