December is here and so is baking! What better way to begin baking season than with a sourdough challah. The best part is that it is an eggless challah and the dough is instead enriched with tangzhong, butter and milk. The tangzhong and milk together gave the challah a lovely texture and the taste was just perfect. Egg is the easier way to enrich the dough but I am trying to cut out eggs in my breads. It is easier to share with others who don’t eat it and the tangzhong is just an amazing way to make breads.
Challah is a fun bread thanks to all the braiding it involves. My daughter and I had a good time braiding it to be a 4 strand bread. I know it is not perfect but I will get there sooner than later. I have to admit I have gained respect for my mother who patiently braided my long hair every morning before school despite the amount of grief I gave her with my requirements.
Key pointers for the best sourdough challah
The most important part is obviously the starter. I used only 15% starter and so it takes a little longer to rise but adds lots of flavour in the process. You can add upto 20% of the flour weight as starter to speed up the rise of the dough.
The tangzhong is a lovely way to enrich the dough and give it a soft texture. It is a bit of additional work but it is definitely worth it and gives the challah an extra texture boost.
I have added milk and water for the liquid in the dough. You can add either milk or water fully as per your preference. Milk makes the loaf softer. So I will sure recommend at least 30% of the liquid to be milk and the balance can be water.
If you want a quick challah with yeast and egg you can check out this Challah recipe. Here is a lovely sourdough sandwich loaf and some other quick yeast loaves – Cheese Bread and Spicy Coriander Bread.
PIN IT FOR LATER
Eggless Sourdough Challah
- OTG or MIcrowave Oven to bake
For the Starter
- 45 gms Unfed starter
- 45 gms Water
- 45 gms all-purpose flour Use whichever flour you use to feed your starter regularly
For the Tangzhong
- 10 gms all-purpose flour
- 50 gms Milk
For the Dough
- 190 gms all-purpose flour
- 125 gms Sourdough Starter
- Entire Tangzhong made as above
- 20 gms Butter (Salted or unsalted)
- 3-4 gms Salt
- 96 gms Milk / water I used equal amounts of water and milk
- Mix all the ingredients for the starter – 45 gms each of unfed starter, water and flour. If the weather is cold then warm the water to activate the starter. Keep in a warm place for 4-6 hours till it doubles
- Mix the flour and milk for the tangzhong in a heat proof vessel with a whisk to ensure no lumps remain. Keep it on the gas and simmer. Whisk continuously for a minute till the mixture thickens and forms a slurry. Cover with cling film and set aside to cool
- Add the flour, tangzhong, softened butter, starter and salt to a large bowl. Take the milk and water and add it to the bowl
- After adding all the ingredients to the bowl, mix them together to form a dough. Ensure that no dry flour remains. Cover and set aside
- Perform 4 rounds of stretch and fold at 30 minutes intervals. So at the end of 2 hours you would have completed 4 rounds of stretch and folds
- Cover and set aside for 4 hours or till the dough doubles in volume
- Once the dough doubles in volume, divide the dough into 4 parts. Roll each part of the dough into a 8-9" long rope
- Join the 4 ropes at one end and press them together and then braid the 4 dough ropes till the end. Once the braid is complete, join the dough ropes together and tuck them under the braided dough
- Cover and let the dough proof for 1-2 hours
- Preheat the oven at 230C. Bake the challah for 45-50 minutes till the top achieves a golden brown colour.
- Cool the loaf completely before slicing