Steam-Baked Bread of the Seven Heavens

Nelly Fayman
Nelly Fayman
December 1, 2022
This challah is filled with cheese, garlic, thyme, and mint for Shavuot. Notes: You can use as much or as little of the garlic and herbs in the dough as you’d like. The feta cheese is the most important addition to the filling, as cheese is eaten for Shavuot. In the video for assembling the bread, I am making four loaves of bread. The recipe below is written for just one loaf. You can skip the portion of the video where I divide the dough into four portions.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Steam-Baked Bread of the Seven Heavens
1 cup
lukewarm water
1 tsp
instant yeast
1.33 cups
all-purpose flour
1.33 cups
tapioca flour
1.5 tsp
salt, plus more to taste
6 oz
feta cheese, crumbled
⅓ cup
extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Chopped fresh mint, to taste (see note)
Chopped fresh thyme, to taste (see note)
Chopped fresh garlic, to taste (see note)

1. Make the Dough

In a large bowl, stir together the water and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add the flours and the salt and stir to combine. Transfer to the counter and knead until smooth and stretchy. Transfer to a clean, greased bowl, cover, and let rise until puffed but not doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Make the Dough

2. Make the Filling

In a second bowl, combine the feta, oil, mint, thyme, and garlic. Mix well, then transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
Make the Filling

3. Preheat the Oven

Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: 60%
Temp: 350°F
Heat: Rear, Bottom

4. Assemble

Transfer the dough to the counter and form it into a ball (see note). Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a long, flat rectangle as shown in the video. Place the filling along one long side of the dough, leaving at least a 1-inch border along the edge of the dough. Fold the dough up and over the filling, and then roll the dough into a long snake. Coil the dough snake up and around itself to form a mountain shape with 7 rings to represent Mt. Sinai.

5. Prepare to Bake

Transfer the coiled loaf to a sheet pan lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Brush with oil. Garnish with additional time and mint, if desired. Whisper nice things to your bread before it goes into the oven.
Prepare to Bake

6. Bake

Transfer to the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: 60%
Temp: 350°F
Heat: Rear, Bottom
00:35 Timer

7. Crisp

Leave the bread in the oven as it changes heating elements. Continue to bake until the top is crisp and golden brown, about 6 minutes after the stage begins. Let cool before serving.
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: 60%
Temp: 350°F
Heat: Top
00:06 Timer
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