I've been using spelt flour for a couple of years now and I just love it. Though for my weekly challa baking for Shabbat I would use regular white flour. I really wanted to try a healthier route, and decided to experiment on some half and half flour ratios. The results are amazing. No one could tell that the challa is loaded with good-for-you ingredients. The flavor remains yummy and the texture with the oats is even better. If you are a beginner or new to whole spelt flour, this recipe is perfect to start with.
1). Place the bread flour and the whole spelt flour in a mixer bowl and add the dry yeast, 1 cup oats and sugar. Mix for a few seconds.
2). In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and oil.
3). Prepare a jar of warm water. The water should not be boiling, but to the point that your hand can withstand it.
4). Place the salt in a small separate bowl.
Now that everything is ready let’s start making the dough:
5). Start the mixer on a low mixing level and add half the amount of water+ the 2 Tbsp honey. Let it work for few seconds and then add the oil and eggs to the mixture. Mix for about 2 minutes. Start adding more water but not all of it. Now add the salt. The dough should start to separate from the bowl. It should be smooth and very comfortable to the touch. If you think that it is too dry, add the rest of the water and mix for few more minutes.
6) Take a large bowl and grease it with a very thin layer of oil. Transfer the dough, flip once, cover loosely with a plastic bag and a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place for one hour. Punch once or twice during the hour.
7). After one hour dust your counter with flour. Transfer the dough and cut into about 8-10 portions. Shape the challas. Place on a sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with a big, clean, unopened garbage bag. Let rise for at least 45 minutes.
8). Preheat your oven to 350F, 15 minutes prior to inserting the first tray. Brush the challas with egg wash and sprinkle some of your favorite toppings such as sesame or poppy seeds. It is optional.
9). Bake for 30 minutes.
Tip: For very soft and airy challas place a small tray with hot water on the bottom oven shelf. The steam helps the rising and the results are amazing.
Note: If you do not have a mixer you can do all the steps by hand. Just knead really well.