Christmas Challah Bread

Traditionally a sumptuous bake served on the Jewish Sabbath, Challah bread has risen (pun intended!) in popularity in recent times. With its beautiful textured braiding and sweet rich flavour, this pillowy-soft bread can be adapted to celebrate any occasion – it’s perfect for Christmas.

For our winter ’22 shoot we worked with Verity Walcott For The Flavour in Bath; she created a spectacular Challah bread star packed with festive ingredients and elegantly styled with pistachios and rose petals. Verity has kindly shared the recipe with us, and we suggest you embrace the Sorbet Living way of life and take a morning to slow down, light the candles and play your favourite music while baking this magnificent centrepiece.

A lovely one to serve with coffee on a crisp winter morning over the holidays. The Challah Bread Star can be gently pulled into portions and placed on our Fluted Handmade Plates.

Enjoy x

Saffron Cinnamon Pistachio & Rose Petal Challah Bread Star  

Instructions

Grind the saffron in a pestle and mortar, add a little bit of warm water to loosen and release the colour. 

In a large bowl, combine 125g AP flour the yeast, and 1 cup of warm water, add the ground saffron and mix thoroughly. Cover with kitchen wrap, and let stand for 1 hour at room temperature. 

Add the eggs, honey, oil and rose petal water (if using) to the flour/yeast mixture after it’s sat for 1 hour.  Add the remaining AP flour, bread flour, and salt to the bowl.

Mix until all ingredients are combined, and a shaggy dough ball forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for 2-3 minutes until the surface of the dough is smooth, and you form a nice ball.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with wrap, and let rise for about 1.5 hours at room temperature, or until doubled in size.

Make the Cinnamon Butter by beating the butter until smooth and adding in the sugar and spices – set aside. 

After your dough has proved sprinkle a work surface with flour. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Roll each portion into approximately 27cm circle (dinner plate size)  Line your surface with some parchment paper, lightly oil it. Using a plate or a pastry case base measuring 23cm – 25cm as a guide, cut each round.

Place one disc on the parchment paper and spread with a thin layer of the cinnamon butter, sprinkle the crushed pistachio and rose petals. Follow with the second disc, spreading cinnamon butter, followed by rose petals and pistachio nibs again. Finish by placing the final disc on the top. Find the centre of the stacked disc and make a mark using a star or round cookie cutter. Then using a star or round cutter make an indentation. Leave the cookie cutter in the middle of the disc for the next stage, it will help give you a guide for slicing the star. Now you need to cut 16 even slices, as if you’re slicing or portioning a cake. Dab a little egg wash on the tip of each slice. Twist 2 slices, 3 times, pressing the ends together. Continue until they’re all twisted. Cover and prove for 30-50 minutes, depending on the room temperature. Meanwhile, set the oven shelf to the middle position and preheat to 175C.  Brush the star with egg wash, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. You can serve warm dusted with a little icing sugar, more crushed pistachios and decorate with rose petals. This bread is best eaten on the day of baking however it can be frozen for up to 1 month and reheated in the oven before serving.

 

Ingredients

  • 420g AP flour
  • 180g bread flour
  • 1 cup warm water 
  • 10g yeast 
  • 1 tbsp Saffron 
  • 1 Tbsp rose petal water (optional)
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 2 large organic eggs room temperature
  • 125ml cup rapeseed oil 
  • 85g honey
  • Egg wash: 1 egg beaten for glazing 

Cinnamon Butter

  • 180g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 45g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp plain flour
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg 
  • 1tsp all spice 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • Pistachios crushed, or pistachio nibs 
  • Rose petals 
  • Icing sugar for dusting