Delicious savory challah knots with ham and cheese – enough to please a big crowd on a brunch :)
For the dough:
1 1/3 cups (320ml) lukewarm water
4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
6 1/2 cups (840g) all-purpose flour (plus more if needed)
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
2 tsp. salt
4 medium eggs
1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil (e.g. safflower oil)
1/3 cup (80ml) REWE Feine Welt Styrian pumpkin seed oil
2 tbsp. honey
For the filling:
1.7 oz. (50g) REWE Feine Welt Tyrolean mountain cheese
3.5 oz. (100g) REWE Feine Welt prosciutto cotto
2 scallions, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. REWE Feine Welt fleur de sel
1/8 tsp. ground pepper
2-3 tbsp. REWE Feine Welt Styrian pumpkin seed oil
For the topping:
1 tbsp. white sesame seeds
1 tbsp. black sesame seeds
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
pinch of REWE Feine Welt fleur de sel
1 egg plus some water for brushing
1. Add the warm water, dry yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar to a large bowl and mix. Set aside and let bubble for about 5 minutes.
2. Mix the flour with sugar and salt and add to the bowl. Add the eggs, oil, and honey and knead about 10 minutes until you get a nice smooth dough. If it’s too wet add some more flour – the dough will be quite sticky though. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead a bit on a well-floured surface and shape into a ball. Clean the bowl and brush lightly with some oil. Place the dough ball in the bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours in a warm place.
3. For the filling grate the cheese finely, chop the ham in small pieces and dice the scallions and garlic cloves finely. Add to a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment and set aside.
4. Divide the dough in six equal pieces. Place one in front of you on a floured surface and keep the other ones you are not working with covered on the side. Shape/pull the first piece of dough into a long log and flatten it so you get a stripe of dough with about 12×3 inches /30x8cm. Brush with some pumpkin seed oil and add 1/6 of the filling on top of that dough stipe – try to keep everything in one line in the center of the stripe. Pull the sides of that dough stripe up and press together to seal in the filling. Twist that string you created a bit and pull to get it slightly longer, then cut into three equal strings. Pull that strings a bit more to make them longer, then flatten them and cut lengthwise in half. Twist those two new strings to get one twisted string again and then make a knot with it. Place nine of the knots on one baking sheet and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise for 25-30 minutes. While the first batch is rising, repeat with the remaining dough.
5. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Mix the ingredients for the topping and set aside. Mix the egg yolk with some water. Brush the first batch of challah knots and sprinkle with the topping mixture. Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown. Take out and let cool down on the baking sheet. Repeat with the second batch of challah knots the same way.
Keywords: challah, bread, yeast, easter, brunch, savory, ham, cheese