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Author Notes: I love making all kinds of challah and usually I dip it in homemade Hummus with Zaatar and eat olives on the side. So one day I decided to try the olives and zaatar in challah - it was a good decision. —Tamar Genger
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon active wheat gluten (optional, but makes it more fluffy)
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 large eggs, plus 1 for glaze
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped olives, prefer Kalamata
- 1 tablespoon zaatar
- In the bowl of a food processor with a dough blade combine the yeast and 3/4 cup of all-purpose. Add the warm water and pulse until smooth. Let the flour and yeast mixture stand, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the mixture is foamy.
- Add the eggs, oil, sugar and salt, pulse until smooth. Add the whole wheat and remaining all-purpose flour, and pulse, until the liquid ingredients are incorporated and the dough holds together in a ball. 3 Run the processor for 5 more minutes to knead, if it looks too sticky, sprinkle with more flour.
- Place the kneaded dough into a large clean ziplock bag greased and sprinkled with flour and place in a warm, draft-free spot. Allow the dough to rise until at least doubled, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
- Punch down the dough. Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and pat into a large rectangle. Sprinkle evenly with the zaatar and olives. Fold the dough in thirds, and then in half to contain the seasonings, then knead until the zaatar and olives are well integrat
- Line 1 or 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. For 1 large braided challah, divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. For 2 smaller challahs, divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. For rolls, divide the dough into 10 to 12 pieces.
- Roll and shape the dough pieces with your hands to form “snakes” or “ropes” of even thickness and length. (The ropes should be about 10 to 12 inches long for a large challah, 8 inches long for smaller challahs, and 4 to 5 inches long for rolls.)
- Once shaped as desired, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, about 11/2 hours.
- preheat the oven to 350° F. Prepare the egg wash by beating together 1 egg and 1 to 2 teaspoons of water. Using a pasty brush, evenly brush the loaves and/or rolls with the egg wash.
- Bake the breads in the preheated oven, until the loaves or rolls are well browned and glossy, and make a hollow sound when tapped. Bake rolls for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, small challahs for 30 to 35 minutes, and large challah for 40 to 45 minutes.
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