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Spelt Challah (Wheat and Egg-Free Challah) (P, TNT)
Source: "A Taste of Challah," by Tamar Ansh
Yield: 6 large or 8 medium-sized loaves

[Archivist's Note: Spelt is a form of wheat.]

65grams/2.4 ounces fresh yeast
820ml/28 oz. warm water
260g/1-1/4 cups light brown sugar
5 lbs./2-1/4 kilos/17 cups spelt flour
35g/1-1/2 tbsp. salt
230ml/1 cup canola oil

Crumble the yeast into the mixing bowl. Add 500ml/2 cups of warm water and 1/4 cup of sugar on top of it. Cover the bowl and let it start to activate for 5-10 minutes.

Add half of the flour, all the salt, and the oil.

Mix and knead with the dough hook until it resembles a thick batter. Let it rest, covered, for 10 minutes.

Knead again while adding in all the rest of the flour. Add the water a bit at a time until you have a smooth and pliable, slightly sticky dough.

Turn the dough out into a large, well-oiled bowl. Cover the dough with a sheet of plastic and then a large towel and allow it to rise for 40 minutes.

If you will not have time to shape and bake right away, place the dough, covered well with plastic, in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

Important note: Spelt dough rises a bit differently than wheat dough. It is lighter, and therefore should not be left to rise as long as wheat dough.

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C while you are shaping the loaves. Add a tray of water to the bottom rack of the oven to add moisture during the baking process, since you won't be using an egg glaze.

Punch down the dough and start to shape the loaves. When rolling out the strands, let them rest for only 2 minutes before rolling out and braiding them. Shape and allow the challahs to rise for 35 minutes. Do not let the dough rise too much or the bread/challah will fall flat when it is baked.

Spray the challahs with a thin film of clear water and sprinkle on seeds of your choice, if desired.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until dark golden brown on top. Place on a wire rack to cool. Freeze until use.

Poster's Notes:
Here it is, very very good. We aren't wheat-sensitive but I make it anyhow, it's so good.

Spelt rises differently than wheat flours. Once I learned that, then it came out amazing.

Spelt flour is a very nice alternative for those who are wheat-sensitive. It is healthy and quite tasty, so it can be enjoyed by just about anyone. Spelt flour can also be purchased as whole grain spelt flour--which is darker, or as white spelt flour--which is lighter.

Posted by Tamar Ansh

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A