For those who haven’t heard yet: Lent is over. F-I-N-A-L-L-Y! Lent is my time to omit meat and booze. That’s why it’s time to share a recipe with meat again!
Even though Easter has long passed, I do have to admit that this braided challah tastes excellent no matter what the season. Especially topped with a nice herb quark with tons of fresh chervil and a hint of lemon zest.
It’s a mystery to me how some blogger colleagues manage to publish recipes for various holidays weeks in advance. Not that I don’t keep an eye on my calendar, but how am I supposed to know two weeks before Easter, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day what I want to cook on that specific day?!
For instance, how could I have known two weeks before Easter that we would coincidentally pass by a Spanish deli with insanely good looking chorizos hanging in its display? And how the hell could I have known that on Easter Sunday, I – who actually hates baking – would suddenly feel like baking, and the only ingredients available would be those you need for a savory, juicy, braided challah bread? Get my point?
Well, regardless – what I really wanna say is: YO! Does this challah taste good, or what?!
P.S. Did I mention that lent is over?!
Braided Chorizo Sesame Challah
- 1 Large mixing bowl
- Stand mixer with dough hook
- 1 Kitchen towel dampened
- 1 Pan
- Rolling Pin
- 1 Knife
- Baking tray lined with baking paper
- Baking brush
- Oven preheated to 180°C, with convection
- 120 g spicy chorizo
- 75 g salted butter
- 20 g fresh yeast
- 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- 125 ml milk warmed to 35°
- 500 g wheat flour type 550
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbs sesame seeds
- 1 tbs olive oil
- Dough:Warm the milk. Crumble the yeast into your bowl and gently mix it with 1/3 of the lukewarm milk until fully dissolved, add sugar, let it sit for about 10 minutes.
- Whisk 2 eggs with remaining milk, salt, and flour into the bowl of your stand mixer, until evenly mixed.Add the yeast-milk mixture and knead with the dough hook at low speed for 3 minutes. Increase the speed, knead for an additional 5 minutes.
- In the meanwhile dice butter and gradually add it to the dough, don't stop the kneading. Once incorporated, knead dough at high speed for another 5 minutes until it's all beautiful and smooth.
- Cover the bowl with the dampened towel and let it rise in a warm corner for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in volume.
- Chorizo:Peel and dice the choriz coarsley. In a dry pan sauté the diced chorizo, stirring constantly, for 5-10 minutes until the fat is released, and cubes are lightly browned. Drain excess fat and set aside.
- Braid:Once the dough has risen, you can work the chorizo into the dough. Knead them in with your hands so that the cubes are evenly distributed.
- Divide the dough into thirds and roll them out to strands of about 40cm each. Loosely braid the strands, and tuck the ends under. Place the braided bread on your baking tray lined with parchment paper and let it rise covered for another 45 minutes.
- Finish:Whisk the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Brush the braided bread with the egg yolk mixture. Sprinkle evenly with sesame seeds and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C with convection on the middle rack for 20 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes if needed so that it doesn't brown too much.That's it! Take it out from the oven, let it cool off a bit, and dig in.
Serve with a quark mixed with fresh herbs (I added tons of fresh chervil) and some lemon zest. Don’t have quark at hand? Do not despair! Substitute with a natural Greek yoghurt or labneh!
The freshness of the herbs and lemon complement the smoky, savory flavor of the chorizo.
Thick slices of cheese also taste excellent on this delicately spicy braided bread. Enjoy!