Home-made Challot are so much better than store-bought one so this year I decided to try making 2 different kinds. A whole-wheat break away challah and a Saffron-Honey challah, which were both made from the cookbook “The Kosher Baker”.
The whole wheat challah took a long time to make as it has 3 separate resting periods, but the end product was well worth it. You begin by mixing together all of your ingredients and then letting the mixture rise for 2 hours. Then punch it down and allow it to rise another hour. After that, punch it down once more and split the dough into 2. Cut each half into twelve pieces and form them into balls. Place 9 dough balls around the outside of a 9-inch round pan, with 3 in the middle.
It is ok if they do not take up the whole pan because you will let them rise for another hour in the pan.
The next challot I made were saffron-honey challot which I thought would be a nice additional use of honey. For this challah, you combine the honey, saffron, water and yeast and allow to bubble. Then add that mixture to your flour mixture and let rest for 1 1/2 hours. After an hour and a half, punch it down and separate into 2 pieces. Then separate each piece into however many strands you want for your braid (I separated into 4 pieces — 3 for the main braid with 1 extra to divide into 3 for the smaller braid on top). If you’re making a braid on top of the main one, attach it to the challah with some egg white wash. Once you’re done, allow the challah to rest for an additional hour and a half and then bake for 40 minutes. That’s it!