Our chickens have been giving us up to seven eggs a day which means we have up to three dozen eggs per week. Which means all of a sudden we have eggs coming out of our ears.
In an effort to begin using them up, I decided to make some egg bread this week. The most obvious choice was of course, challah.
Although I am an avid baker, I balked a bit at making challah. It was a busy Monday. On top of laundry, dishes and other Monday things I did not feel that I had time to make the dough, let it rise, braid it, brush it with egg, and then let it rise again.
I decided however to power through and discovered it was surprisingly quick (as yeast breads go) and came together relatively easy. We had the loaf with our beef and barley soup for dinner and used the leftovers the following morning for French toast.
This cannot be classified as a traditional recipe according to Westin A Price standards. In order for it to pass the test it would need to be made with either sprouted flour or sourdough. Either process breaks down the difficult to digest proteins (gluten) and phytates. Because I am a firm believer in doing the best that you can with what you have I used some spelt flour that I had already milled (actually for the purpose of making a sourdough starter which is currently bubbling away in my kitchen) and just made it as healthy as I could with the ingredients I had on hand.
Spelt is one of the ancient non-hybrid grains and is considered by some to be easier digested than our modern day wheat. I frequently use it in my baking as an alternative to whole wheat or, in cases like this one, where I haven’t had time for a traditional approach to preparation. Spelt creates a flour much finer than standard wheat and therefore a little more is required to get the same consistency. The recipe below has been adjusted accordingly.
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- 3 3/4 c of freshly milled spelt flour
- 1/4 c of organic cane sugar
- 1 1/2 t of salt
- 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) of dry yeast
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 2 T of butter
- 2 large eggs, divided
- Combine 1 3/4 cups of the flour, the cane juice, the salt, and the yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the milk just to scalding. Add the 2 T of butter and stir until melted. Add to the flour mixture and beat on low speed one minute. Increase the speed to medium, and beat for one minute more.
- Add the egg and beat until smooth.
- Add enough of the remaining flour until dough begins to clean the sides of the bowl.
- Knead for about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy.
- Cover bowl with a clean tea towel and set in a warm place. Let rise for one hour or until doubled.
- Punch down and divide dough into three equal portions.
- Shape each portion into a 14" rope and braid, pinching the ends together to secure.
- Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment or silpat and cover with a tea towel.
- Let rise for 40-50 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Brush generously with beaten egg and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
How do you like to use up the extra eggs from your chickens?
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