Strange Challah recipe - would it work (better than normal)?
Found a strange and intriguing challah recipe and I'm wondering if I'm setting myself up for icky or just-average challah if I try it. It doesn't give any quantities of flour, which is annoying, but I can deal with it. I'm intrigued by the large quantity of honey, the flavour potential of a long-rising sponge. The olive oil also intrigues me.
Formula below. I'm wondering if the long "pre-ferment" (no yeast, is it still a pre-ferment, or maybe an autolyse - with salt?) and seemingly light kneading could lead to a challah with a nicer flavour and/or better crumb. Also, will the flavour of the olive oil dominate, or fade with mixing and baking?
Opinions, before I take the plunge and subject my family to yet another new challah?
Thursday afternoon or evening:
In a mixing bowl, combine:
- 3 cups warm water
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup olive oil
- 5 t salt
Whisk together and add enough whole wheat flour to form a soft dough, scraping the bowl and folding the dough over with a large spoon to blend in all the flour. Cover and leave to sit at room temperature overnight.
STILL Thursday afternoon or evening:
Next, put 5 eggs into a small bowl. Whisk together with enough whole wheat flour to make a soft dough. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Late Friday morning:
Take egg mixture out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature OR if you want it to warm up faster, place it in an oven that has been warmed to 170 degrees and turned off. Leave it in the oven for about a half hour.
On Friday afternoon:
- Dissolve 3 T active dry yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Whisk in enough flour to make a soft dough.
- Turn last night’s sponge and egg mixture out together onto a well floured counter. Top with yeast mixture. Coat well with flour and knead until well combined, using a dough scraper and flour to keep the dough from sticking to the counter. Kneading will take about 3-5 minutes. Add flour as needed until the dough holds its shape but is not dry.
- Cover and leave in a warm place to rise for about 1 to 1-½ hours.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead again for about 5 minutes. Dough should be smooth and stretchy.
(instructions omitted for portioning & forming the challahs)