Sourdough Challah



1 c. active starter at 100% hydration

1/2 c. water
3 2/3 c. White Flour (all purpose or bread flour)
2 tsp. Salt
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
Misc. - another egg for egg wash, poppy or sesame seeds

Mix the starter egg, egg yolks, sugar, oil, 1/2 the flour, and the salt. Stir. Add more flour, a bit at a time, until the dough is too thick to stir.

Pour out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough, adding more flour sparingly, until the dough is smooth, satiny, has lost most of its stickiness, and is fairly firm. You probably should not use all the flour called for above.

Cover and allow dough to rise until tripled in volume.

Punch down the dough, knead briefly, and cut into four pieces of the same weight. Divide into three equal pieces and braid. 

Preheat your oven to 350F. With baking stones or tiles in your oven, this will probably take about 45 minutes to an hour.

When the oven is ready, brush the loaves with the egg wash again. Sprinkle the loaves with poppy or sesame seeds. Slide into the oven; bake about 35 minutes. If there is a white line between the braids, continue baking until it disappears. Press lightly between the braids on the highest part of the bread. It should be firm.

If your loaf is browning too much, cover it with baking parchment or a brown paper bag that has been cut open. Crease the parchment or bag to form a tent.

I just made one larger loaf.



Sourdough Cheese Stuffed Pretzels


You have a choice of how you want them to look. If you brush them with the egg wash, they will look like mine in the picture. If after boiling them, you just sprinkle them with salt and do not brush with egg mixture, they will be slick and shiny and look like the pretzel you usually buy.

For this recipe, you need to have a sourdough starter on hand --

This is your Sponge:

Mix and let sit overnight in a warm place:

3/4 cup of your favorite sourdough starter, (I used Herman)
3/4 cup of flour, and
1/2 cup de-chlorinated water

If your water is chlorinated, it will be hard on the yeast, so keep a jug of tap water that has been allowed to bubble out the chlorine gas.

Next morning:

Melt in 1/2 cup of hot water:

2T butter
3T sugar
2 teaspoons salt

To another 1/2 c. warm water (about 110F):

dissolve one package of yeast

When both water mixtures above are cool, mix them together and add them to your Sponge mixture that you have been letting sit over night.

Now gradually add the following to your Sponge:

4 cups flour (or enough additional flour to make a fairly stiff dough)

Turn out into a floured board, let rest for 20 minutes, and knead in more flour for a very stiff dough. Oil a large bowl and turn and flip the dough in it to oil both sides. Cover to keep in moisture and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.


Place Asaigo cheese in blender and blend until smooth enough to pipe or spread.

Flatten your dough out on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 12 pieces and roll out to form a rope about 18 inches long. Flatten the rope and line the entire length of your rope with cheese. Roll up your rope so you have no cheese exposed. Shape into a pretzel and place on greased cookie sheet to rest.

Continue until all your pretzels are stuffed. Let them rest while you get your water on to boil.

Egg glaze:

In a small bowl beat 1 egg with 2 Tbsp. of milk. (This is to brush your boiled pretzels)

Fill large pot 1/2 full of water. Bring this to a medium boil. Add 4 tsp of baking soda. Drop your pretzels in one at a time, but only 3 at any one time in the pot.

When they float to the top (it will be less than 1 min.) remove them onto a greased cookie sheet. Continue until you have 6 pretzels on your cookie sheet.

Brush the tops well with your egg and milk mixture, sprinkle liberally with coarse salt and bake them for 12 min. in a 474 F oven. Remove to a rack for cooling.