The Perfect Sourdough Challah – Braided Sweet Bread

A soft brioche braid is a must at every Easter brunch. You don’t need yeast or baking powder for this Easter brioche with sourdough. The dough becomes fluffy and soft only with sourdough. The dough also requires no egg. If you want to make vegan challah, you can replace butter and milk with plant-based alternatives. If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to braid, you could also bake an Easter bread without sultanas (you can find a version with sultanas and almonds here) from the brioche dough instead of the braided loaf.

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How long does challah keep?

Of course, brioche tastes best fresh – slightly warm with honey or jam. But thanks to the sourdough, this braided loaf is still fluffy and soft after three days. If your challah is older, you can bake it briefly or cut it into slices and toast it*.

How should brioche be stored?

You can store your brioche at room temperature for up to three days. Wrap it in a cotton cloth to protect it. If you want to keep your challah for longer, you can freeze it – either in one piece or cut into slices. After defrosting, I would briefly bake the braided bread in the oven. You can also defrost individual slices in the toaster*.

Ingredients: What you need for vegan challah with sourdough

  • Wheat flour: Bread flour is best for your challah. If you want to replace some of the flour with wholegrain flour, you may need to increase the amount of water.
  • Water: Cold in summer and lukewarm in winter.
  • Sourdough starter: The sourdough doesn’t have to be freshly fed, but it shouldn’t have been more than a week since it was last refreshed. If you have sourdough discard, I have the right recipes for you here. I feed my sourdough with equal parts water and flour. For the flour, I use a mixture of wheat flour and wholegrain rye flour. If you feed your sourdough with a different water-to-flour ratio, you will need to adjust the amount of water in the recipe accordingly.
  • Sugar for sweetness.
  • Soft butter or a vegan alternative for the dough.
  • Salt and vanilla extract for flavour.

In three steps: How to make the braided brioche with sourdough

  1. Prepare the tangzhong, mix all the ingredients into a dough and leave to rest at room temperature. Place the dough in the fridge overnight.
  2. Braid the bread and leave to rest.
  3. Preheat the oven and bake the braided Easter bread until golden brown.

How to braid a Viennese six strand plait

Helpful tools – My recommendations

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Recipe: The Perfect Sourdough Challah – Braided Sweet Bread

A soft brioche braid is a must at every Easter brunch. You don’t need yeast or baking powder for this Easter brioche with sourdough. The dough becomes fluffy and soft only with sourdough. The dough also requires no egg. If you want to make vegan challah, you can replace butter and milk with plant-based alternatives.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Resting Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 55 minutes
Cuisine German
Servings 1 Challah

Ingredients
  

tangzhong

  • 100 g water or milk (plant-based alternative)
  • 20 g wheat flour

Ingredients for the Dough

  • tangzhong cooled
  • 500 g wheat flour bread flour (or type 550)
  • 220 g water
  • 50 g sourdough starter
  • 60 g butter or vegan butter
  • 50 g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions
 

Day 1

  • For the tangzhong, mix water with wheat flour and boil until a thick paste is formed. Leave the tangzhong to cool completely.
  • For the dough, mix all the ingredients together, cover and leave to rest at room temperature for about six hours. Stretch and fold once after 30 minutes.
  • Place the dough in the fridge overnight.

Day 2

  • Transfer the dough to a work surface. For normal braided bread, the dough is divided into three parts, rolled into strands and braided. You can also use the dough to make an Easter loaf or a six-strand braid. For the Easter bread, the dough is formed into a round shape and placed in a floured proofing basket.
  • Cover the challah and leave to rest at room temperature for an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees using a steam tray consisting of a stainless steel oven dish* and lava stones*.
  • Bake the brioche for 15 minutes with steam and 25 minutes without steam until golden brown.
Keyword easter recipe, fluffy, no baking powder, no egg, no yeast, overnight, with sourdough

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The perfect challah with sourdough - Pinterest

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I’m Theresa and I bake – preferably with sourdough. I share my favorite recipes with you on my blog Krümelig.

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