Sourdough Challah Benefits and Recipe

Introduction: Sourdough bread has gained immense popularity for its tangy flavor, chewy texture, and numerous health benefits. If you’re a fan of sourdough and are looking to elevate your baking game, Spice & Zest Premium Sourdough Starter is the perfect choice. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through using this exceptional starter and provide you with a delightful recipe to bake sourdough challah.

Some Key Benefits of Sourdough Challah:

  1. Enhanced Digestibility: Sourdough bread, including sourdough challah, undergoes a fermentation process that breaks down gluten and other complex carbohydrates. This makes it easier to digest for individuals with gluten sensitivity or intolerance.
  2. Improved Nutritional Profile: Sourdough bread is rich in nutrients like B vitamins, iron, and minerals due to the fermentation process. The use of Spice & Zest Premium Sourdough Starter enhances the nutritional benefits of your homemade sourdough challah.
  3. Healthier Bread Option: Unlike commercially produced bread that often contains additives and preservatives, baking your own sourdough challah allows you to have full control over the ingredients. This means you can avoid artificial additives and choose high-quality, organic ingredients for a healthier bread option.
  4. Unique Flavor and Aroma: Sourdough challah has a distinct tangy flavor and aroma that comes from the natural fermentation process.
  5. Longer Shelf Life: Sourdough bread has a longer shelf life compared to regular bread due to the acidity created during fermentation. This means your sourdough challah can stay fresh for a longer period, allowing you to enjoy it over several days.
  6. Artisanal and Homemade: Baking sourdough challah allows you to create a homemade, artisanal bread that is sure to impress your family and friends. The process of creating and shaping the challah is a rewarding and satisfying experience.
  7. Versatility: Sourdough challah is a versatile bread that can be enjoyed in various ways. Use it for sandwiches, toast, French toast, or simply enjoy it on its own with butter or your favorite spreads.

How To Activate Dried Sourdough Starter?

Part 1: Using Spice & Zest Premium Sourdough Starter Before you begin, make sure you have the following ingredients and equipment:

  • Spice & Zest Premium Sourdough Starter
  • Bread flour White and Whole Wheat Flour
  • Water
  • Glass Jar or bowl
  • Jar cover or plastic wrap or kitchen towel
  • Kitchen scale
  • Dough scraper
  • Baking parchment paper
  • Baking sheet or loaf pan

Step 1: Activating the Sourdough Starter

  1. Take your Spice & Zest Premium Sourdough Starter out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, open the small pack of Spice & Zest starter full pack of sourdough starter with 32 grams of white flour and 8 grams of wholewheat flour and 40 grams of water.
  3. Stir the mixture until well combined, cover the jar or bowl with cove or plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, and let it sit at room temperature for 12 hours.

Step 2: Building the Levain

  1. Remove most of the sourdough from jar or bowl, just leave in jar about 1 tablespoon of active starter and repeat the same process activated sourdough starter with 40 grams of flour and 40 grams of water.
  2. Mix well until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  3. Cover the jar or bowl again and let it ferment at room temperature for 2-3 days. The levain should become puffy and doubled in size.

Part 2: Sourdough Challah Recipe Now that your sourdough starter is activated and the levain is ready, let’s move on to the sourdough challah recipe.


  • 450 grams white wheat bread flour
  • 50 grams whole wheat flour
  • 100 g Active sourdough starter (bubbly sourdough starter)
  • 10 grams salt
  • 375 g Warm water (350 for initial dough+25 for when adding salt)
  • Egg wash (1 egg mixed with a tablespoon of water)


  • Feed your starter 6-8 hours before baking.

Preparing the dough

  • In a large bowl, combine 100g leaven and 350g of water and mix well.
  • Add the whole wheat and bread flours and mix until well incorporated.


  • Cover the bowl and leave it to rest for 30-60 minutes. This step allows the gluten to develop without the interruption of salt.
  • After 30-60 min of rest, add 25 g of water and 10g salt, and knead until the salt and water are combined into dough.

Step 2: First Rise

  • Cover and set the bowl in a warm area (75-80 degrees) for 3 to 4 hours or for 6-8 hours in a cooler place (during the winter season, you can put it in a turned-off oven with a hot pan of water, or next to the stovetop near a pot of simmering water).
  • During the bulk rise, perform stretch and folds every 30-60 minutes. Stretching and folding the dough allows the gluten to strengthen and develop without harsh kneading, which would knock out the gas bubbles that develop during fermentation. Towards the last hour of the bulk ferment, fold the dough more gently to avoid pressing gas out of the dough.
  • Bench Rest
  • Scoopt the dough onto the countertop.
  • Lightly flour the top of the dough. Very gently turn over the dough so the floured side is face down, and fold the dough on all 4 ends, gently shaping it into a round boule.
  • Leave the dough to rest for 20 minutes. The edges should be round and thick (it’s ok if it flattens a little) but they should not taper off. If they do taper or flatten off, reshape and let sit for another 20 minutes (this is like doing another set of folds during the bulk rise).

Step 3: Shaping the Challah

  1. Shaping
  2. Sprinkle a towel lined bowl or a banneton with a 50/50 blend of rice and white flours.
  3. Fold the bottom third up, right side one third over, left side third over, top third over and then roll the entire loaf over and gently pull toward you, using tension to form the loaf. Place in the prepared, flour dusted bowl.
  4. Let rise for 3 to 4 hours at room temp or place in refrigerator for up to 12 hours (this is known as ‘retarding the dough’- it slows down the rising process while allowing deeper flavor to develop).


  • Place your Dutch oven in the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F.
  • Gently place the dough into the Dutch oven and score the top of the bread.
  • Bake at 500°F, covered, for 20 minutes.
  • Remove lid, lower temperature to 450° and continue to bake for an additional 20 – 30 minutes until crust is a rich, dark amber color and sounds hollow when you knock it.
  • Let it cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Step 7: Cooling and Enjoying

  1. Remove the baked challah from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
  2. Once cooled, slice and serve your delicious sourdough challah as desired. It’s perfect for sandwiches, toasting, or enjoying on its own!

Conclusion: Using Spice & Zest Premium Sourdough Starter provides an excellent foundation for baking flavorful and nutritious sourdough bread. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily activate the starter and create a delectable sourdough challah. Experiment with different variations, such as adding seeds or dried fruits, to customize your challah according to your preferences. Enjoy the process and the delightful aroma of freshly baked sourdough challah in your kitchen!

Tags: No tags

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *