Coriander Challah Bread

I made this coriander challah bread yesterday and it was AMAZING! Challah is fantastic on its own, but the coriander essential oil added a hint of sweet spice to the dough and smelled absolutely fantastic baking. If you are inclined to bake, this is a wonderful choice!

Coriander Challah Bread
(Adapted from smitten kitchen, makes 2 loaves)
-3 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (about 1 1/2 packages, 3/8 ounces or 11 grams)
-1 tablespoon (13 grams) granulated sugar
-1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
-1/2 cup (118 ml) olive or vegetable oil
-5 large eggs
-2-3 drops Coriander essential oil
-1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
-1 tablespoon (14 grams) table salt
-8 to 8 1/2 cups (1000 to 1063 grams) all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup raisins (about 70 grams) per challah, if using, plumped in hot water and drained
-Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional).

1. Proof the yeast in a bowl with the warm water and 1 T sugar.
2. Mix in the oil, then beat in 4 eggs, one at a time. Add the 1/2 cup of sugar, salt, and coriander essential oil.
3. Gradually add in the flour.
4. Knead until smooth using a dough hook or some elbow grease and a floured surface.
5. Grease a bowl and place the dough in the middle, turning once to coat. Cover with a damp towel and place in a warm location to rise for 1 hour.
6. Punch down dough and allow to rise for another half hour.
7. Knead in raisins, if using.
8. If you choose to do a traditional braid, roll into 6, 12" ropes of dough. Honestly, I found it easiest to look up a tutorial with pictures on how to do the 6-piece braid, but basically you pinch the ends together, leaving the ropes spread apart for easy braiding. Take the furthest right stand and move it over the two strands to its left. Take the second strand from the left and move it over all the way to the right. Then, take the furthest left strand and move it over the two strands to its right. Lastly, move the new second strand from the right all the way over to the far left. Then, repeat this process until you have braided the whole loaf (I'm telling you, pictures make all the difference). Either tuck the ends under for a straight loaf (pictured), or curl in a circle and join the ends.
9. Beat the last egg in a bowl and brush onto the loaves, then allow to rise another hour.
10. Place loaves on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving at least 2" between loaves. Brush with a second coat of egg and sprinkle with seeds, if using.
11. Bake for 30-40 minutes in an oven preheated to 375. Allow to cool before slicing.


Want to add coriander essential oil to your baking? Grab some here:


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