Matcha Challah – Recipe

One thing that's become hard to come by since people started stockpiling for the coronavirus is yeast. And anything to do with baking too. Fortunately for me, I'm always stocked up on flour because I've been a baker long before everyone went into survival mode. Unfortunately for me I was out of yeast when things got really serious in the UK. However, I was able to get my hands on some fresh yeast, which I'd never used before until this recipe.

Despite me completely winging it in terms of the quantity of fresh yeast used, I managed to nail it first time. I lived a little dangerously by using it in a newly-developed recipe too. I've made lots of challah in my life but never with matcha. But it also turned out amazingly well.

(Don't want matcha? Just replace it with 2 tbsp more flour for a regular challah.)

Ready? Let's go.


2 tsp of dry active yeast or 10g fresh yeast
50ml warm water (for the yeast)
1 tsp caster sugar
500g bread flour
2 tbsp matcha, sifted
4 eggs
3 tbsp honey
60ml vegetable oil
Another 50ml warm water
1 tsp salt

To Glaze / Top:

1 egg beaten with a little water
Sesame seeds


1. Sprinkle or mash the yeast into the first 50ml of water in a small bowl, and stir in the sugar. Wait a minute or two until it begins to bubble.

2. Stir the yeast mixture with all the rest of the ingredients, switching from a wooden spoon to your hands when it begins to form a dough.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead for about ten minutes until the dough is smooth (or, if you're lucky enough to own a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment to do it for you).

4. Form the dough into a ball, pop it in a lightly-oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm or a damp tea towel until doubled in size (30 mins to two hours, depending on how warm your room is).

5. Punch the dough back down, divide into four even portions and roll into even ropes. Cover again and let rest for another 20 minutes (you can lengthen the ropes again after the rest and then rest again if they start springing back).

6. Braid the dough ropes, pinching the ends to stick together and then tucking them underneath the braid on both sides. Place on a baking paper-lined baking tray, brush generously with the egg and water mixture, and leave to rise in the oven switched off, or with just the light on for a little warmth if cold outside), for an hour and a half. During this time glaze the loaf with more of the egg mixture another two times, and after the last time sprinkle over the sesame seeds.

7. With the fully-proofed loaf now out of the oven, preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake your challah for about 40 minutes (if you think the top is getting too dark cover it with some foil mid-bake). The finished loaf will sound hollow when you tap on the bottom.

8. Let it cool completely before slicing and eating.

Enjoy, and have fun.


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