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Wild Yeast Pretzel Challah

© 2022 |

© 2022 |

© 2022 |

© 2022 |

© 2022 |

A braided pretzel bread made with a wild yeast preferment -- a slow but fun and natural way to rise the bread. A slow fermentaion with natural yeast and beneficial bactaria from the air creates a different bread, that's more flavourful, healthy, and easier to digest. The bread will also have a crisper crust, a chewier crumb and very likely to stale more slowly.
The preparation of the wild yeast is rather easy, but it takes time and patience. For this pretzel challah, I crushed 120 grams of unwashed organic grapes and mixed with 500 ml of filtered tap water. Set aside for 5 days until bubbly and active. You can use dates, figs, raisins or berries to make your own wild yeast water. Store the rest in the refrigerator and simply refresh it with fresh filtered water and fruit when you need it. (you can find more details in this post)
Dunking the pretzel challah in a baking soda bath or food grade lye bath prior to baking is what enables them to develop their distinctive deep brown colour and crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside texture. Natriumhydroxid (NaOH), also known as lye or caustic soda, can be dangerous if misused. So do wear eye protection and rubber gloves if you want to make lye solution for the pretzels. One much easier and safer solution is to use baked baking soda. Simply place baking soda on aluminum lined baking tray and bake for an hour at 120C/245F. When baking soda/sodium hydrogen carbonate/NaHCO3 is heated, it becomes the more concentrated sodium carbonate/soda/Na2CO3, which ensures a darker lye colour when dissolved in water, and better taste than baking soda could.

Wild Yeast PrefermentDough
  • 120 g Organic bread flour
  • 120 g Active wild yeast water
  • Wild yeast preferment
  • 420 g Organic bread flour
  • 180 g Lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Coconut sugar
  • 6 g Sea salt
  • 90 g Baked baking soda
  • 2L Hot boiling water
  • Coarse salt for topping
  • 1 tsp Sesame seeds, optional

How To Braid a 5-Strand Challah w/ Michael Kalanty

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and yeast water until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature overnight. It should be bubbly and double in size when ready to use for main dough.
  2. Combine the wild preferment, bread flour, water, olive oil, coconut sugar and salt in the bowl of your mixer. Knead for 12-15 minutes, until dough becomes soft and smooth. The dough will be a bit sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise in a warm place for approx. 2 hours until almost doubled in size.
  3. Divide the dough into 5 equal portions, each about 175 grams. Roll each into a log, approx. 40 cm long, making sure they are all the same size and length. Braid in a 5-strand loaf. Transfer to a lined baking sheet.
  4. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot for 2-3 hours. You’ll know the dough is ready to bake when you press your finger into the dough and the indentation stays, rather than bouncing back. Uncover and refrigerate for 1 more hour.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 120C/245F and bake the baking soda for one hour. Allow to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 200C/400F.
  6. In a large tray, mix the baked baking soda and 2 liter boiling water, until baking soda is dissolved. Gently dunk the challah in the baking soda bath and let soak for 20-30 seconds. Carefully remove the bread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the top with coarse salt and sesame seeds if using. You can brush the top with an egg wash for a more shiny finish if desired. Bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.

© 2022 |

© 2022 |

© 2022 |


Sherry's Pickings 17/6/22 10:25

i did a fermenting thing once with ginger beer. It blew a huge hole through my dining room wall! Your bread looks lovely.

Rose world 17/6/22 10:53

What a lovely pretzel!!!

Lola Martínez 17/6/22 11:30

Eres una profesional de las masas, te quedan perfectas.

Tom 17/6/22 11:54

...Angie, you have created another fabulous bread!

DEZMOND 17/6/22 13:26

Looks amazing, I'd probably steal it from your window if I saw it cooling there!

Javier 17/6/22 13:32

Anybody couls cook like you, Angie. Your bread looks freaking amazing!

Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine 17/6/22 13:37

these looks absolutely delicious would love them right now!

My name is Erika. 17/6/22 14:29

Your braiding looks amazing. I still haven't mastered that. And I bet this beautiful oaf is really tasty. Happy weekend. Hugs-Erika

Federica Simoni 17/6/22 14:36

Wow che meraviglia!!!😍😍😍

David 17/6/22 17:28

Angie, What a great looking challah bread in twist format... Love a nice dense bread like this! Add some great butter and perhaps a slice of cheese and you have a simple and filling meal. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Bill 17/6/22 18:26

What a great looking pretzel.

Gingi 17/6/22 19:14

Your baked goods always look picture perfect! You are my baking goals!!! -

Brian's Home Blog 18/6/22 00:48

That is gorgeous, I can almost taste it!

J.P. Alexander 18/6/22 03:49

Que rica trenza te mando un beso.

Margaret D 18/6/22 06:14

Looks very attractive and I bet it tastes even better.

Kitchen Riffs 18/6/22 06:38

Mmmm, just lovely. This is gorgeous -- thanks.

Nancy Chan 18/6/22 07:14

Wow! Its a beautiful pretzel bread.

Marianela Beauty Tips 18/6/22 10:52

Mmmm it looks delicious! Thanks for sharing.
I invite you to visit my last post. Have a good week-end!

Anonymous 18/6/22 13:16

Hi Angie, this is Bernadette. This is a work of art and would be wonderful at the Seder Table.

eileeninmd 18/6/22 14:39

Hello Angie,
The break looks delicious, it looks pretty braided. Take care, enjoy your weekend.

Debra Eliotseats 18/6/22 15:13

How interesting. I've never thought of creating my own yeast (but I have made my own sourdough). This turned out lovely!

Julie 19/6/22 03:01

What a beautifully braided pretzel and love the superb crust colour!!

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake 19/6/22 14:13

What a gorgeous loaf! And brava for a 5 braid loaf! Challah is my favorite and I'd love a big slice of yours!!!

Veronica Lee 19/6/22 14:50

You have created another amazing bread!
Happy Sunday, Angie!

Anonymous 19/6/22 16:33

What a gorgeous bread. I’ve made wild yeast before and it does require patience. The baked baking soda also gives ramen noodles their sippery texture. When I make regular pretzel bread, i just use a baking soda bath, not a baked baking soda and it still gives the finished product a gorgeous deep colour when baked.

Balvinder 19/6/22 16:34

Angie, This looks amazing!
I agree with one of the comments above and I would steal this bread If I get the chance, haha....I love bread.

foodtravelandwine 19/6/22 21:24

What a beautiful bread!....i's been a long time since I made challah...I have to make it again!....I made your Vinschgerl Paarl , and it was delicious!....I had to reduce the rye because I didn't have that much, but the taste was wonderful....We ate it with a nice German mustard and some cheese...vielen Dank Angie.... es ist ein leckeres Brot....Abrazotes, Marcela

Anonymous 20/6/22 17:01

Hi Angie, it's judee from Gluten Free A-Z Blog. It just wouldn't let me comment using my name?? Anyway your braided challah bread looks spectacular and I love that it is vegan too.

Valentina 21/6/22 22:31

Your bread recipes are always so amazing, and this one is so cool! Bread for days! :-) ~Valentina

Kelly | Foodtasia 22/6/22 00:06

A wonderful loaf, Angie! It has such a beautiful crust!

Raymund 24/6/22 03:12

Another great bread Angie, love the braiding. Am curious with the Wild yeast preferment, never heard of it, now I will be in the hunt for them

Marcelle 24/6/22 17:56

This looks like a labor of love, but you've presented it so beautifully!! I'm sure it's so delicious too!! Wonderful recipe, Angie! 🥖💗

Tisa Jacob 26/6/22 18:16

Beautiful braid, gorgeous pictures. I wish I had your kind discipline to make pretzel bread- I love it so!


As always, any thoughts, comments, and suggestions that you may have are welcome and greatly appreciated. Please remember to use the "Name/Url" when commenting rather than linking to your profile page for more exposure!

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