I have already posted a simple challah recipe here but I was waiting impatiently for garlic scape to appear in farmer’s market for last month or so. The recipe remains the same but has this aromatic filling of garlic scape and leeks. I have already made a Potato Leek Green Garlic Soup but garlic scape is a whole different thing.
So coming to garlic scape for people who don’t know, it is simply the flower bud of garlic plant. And like the name suggests farmer’s usually remove them and is considered waste product. But unfortunately it is available only for 15 to 20 days so if you miss it, it’s gone for the season. If you ever see these weird looking curly green stuff, trust me just pick it. It has so many uses and is full of mild garlic flavor. I buy in bulk and make compound butter, pesto or just use in place of regular garlic for milder yet more vibrant flavor.
I have been using them for only 2 years now but can’t get enough of it in season. If you are new to bread making challah is a good place to start. It looks like complex and daunting task but once you make it yourself you will be rewarded with a beautiful loaf! If you have any doubt/ question or you are stuck while making this just comment or message on Facebook, I will try my best to help you.
Makes 1 loaf
- 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
- 120 grams/ 1/2 cup water, at 105°F
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 360 grams/ 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil/ melt butter, slightly cooled
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 large leek, chopped and washed thoroughly
- 8 large garlic scapes, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, optional
- 1 tablespoon onion seeds, optional
- In a medium size bowl, add water, yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar, mix well. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, until it’s activated or bubbly.
- Meanwhile whisk together remaining sugar, flour and salt in stand mixer bowl, set aside.
- Add 2 eggs, oil/melted butter (cooled) and honey, mix well with whisk.
- Make a well in center of flour mix, pour the yeast mix and start mixer fitted with dough hook. Knead for 10 to 12 minutes, dough should be soft, shiny and elastic. Alternatively can be kneaded with hand, resist adding extra flour.
- Grease a bowl with little oil, put the dough in it turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hour, until double in size.
- Heat oil in a pan add leeks, garlic scape, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on low. Open and cook for 10 minutes.
- Scrape filling into a bowl to cool.
Braid and bake
- Punch down the dough and divide it into 3 parts. If using scale each will be about 220 grams.
- Working with one piece at a time on a lightly floured surface. Roll it into 7 x 14 inch rectangle, sprinkle ⅓ filling and roll like a jelly roll. Pinch the ends to seal and roll to make it 16 inch long. Repeat for other piece and keeping rest covered with a towel. Braid and transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment or silicone mat.
- Whisk the remaining egg and brush the loaf with it. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let it rise until double in size about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Halfway through rising time preheat the oven to 375°F with rack little lower than middle.
- Brush the challah one more time with egg, sprinkle with sesame and onion seeds if using and bake for 30 minutes, until internal temperature is 195°F. After 15 minutes remove and brush with egg wash in the exposed part for even color and if you feel the top is getting too dark, cover with aluminum foil by just putting it on top.
- Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.