Chałka

  • This a very popular “bread” in Polish and is of Jewish origin.
  • In olden days this would not be called bread as it does not contain any rye flour.
  • This is made from wheat flour and is a slightly sweet loaf and is more a ‘bulka’- more a yeast cake than a bread.
  • In English books it is often called – Challah.
  • I have found several recipes and combined them.
  • The dough is enriched with eggs, milk and butter.
  • I have used honey as the sweetener as this is more traditional than sugar.
  • The dough is plaited using at least three strands.
  • A glaze of egg yolk and milk is used – but this tends to burn easily – I might try egg white next time, which I have found to be better  
  • Poppy seeds, sesame seeds or  kruszonka – (crumble mixture) is scattered over the egg glaze.

Ingredients

  • 550g strong or plain flour
  • 125ml milk
  • 20g dried yeast
  • 2 eggs – beaten.
  • 2 tablespoons butter – melted
  •  5- 6 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons of runny honey
  • *
  • Egg yolk & 1 tablespoon of water – (I will try just an egg white next time)
  • Poppy seeds, sesame seeds or crumble mixture for topping

Method

  • Make a starter using 3 tablespoons of the flour, the yeast, the milk and 1 tablespoon of the honey.
  • *
  • Leave until frothy and rising.
  • *
  • But the rest of the flour in a large bowl.
  • Make a well in the centre.
  • Pour in the starter.
  • Pour in the beaten egg.
  • Pour in the melted butter.
  • Pour in some of the water and start to draw the flour and other ingredients together to make a soft dough,
  • Add any more water as required.
  • Once you have a ball of soft dough move the ball onto a wooden board.
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes.
  • Place the dough back into the bowl.
  • Cover and leave until the dough has risen and doubled in size.
  • *
  • Grease a large baking tray.
  • Divide the dough into three equal parts.
  • Roll out each piece into three strands.
  • Plait the three strands together.
  • Tuck each end under.
  • Place the loaf onto the baking tray.
  • *
  • Leave for 20-30 minutes.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200 C.
  • *
  • Brush the loaf with the egg yolk mixture.
  • Sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds.
  • Bake for  25 – 30  minutes.
  • Check after 20 minutes and cover with baking paper if it starts to burn.