Coconut Challah with Yeast Water Starter


I have wanted to try my hand at a Challah made with a Yeast Water starter for a while so I decided to give it a try this weekend. Naturally I needed to change it up a bit more and added some shredded coconut and used coconut water in place of the liquid.

I figured since today really finally feels like Fall it warranted using a nice fall themed cake pan for this bread. This is the first time I successfully used a cake pan/bundt pan for a bread. I was planning on removing the dough from the pan before baking, but the dough was very moist so I was afraid I would ruin it if I tried to un-mold it before baking.

I was very happy with the way this bread turned out. It has nice sweet flavor from the honey and coconut and the mold worked perfectly as the bread easily popped out after it was finished baking.


I used a combination of my white sourdough starter which I keep at 66% hydration and did a 3 stage build with my fruit flavored yeast water starter.

Yeast Water Starter Build 1

60 grams AP Flour (KAF)

60 grams Yeast Water Starter

Mix the flour and Yeast Water in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for around 4 hours. The starter should almost double when ready to proceed to build 2.

Build 2

Add ingredients below to starter from above and mix until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 4 hours.

60 grams AP Flour (KAF)

60 grams Yeast Water Starter

Main Dough Ingredients

240 grams Yeast Water Starter (all of the starter from above)

844 grams European Style Flour (KAF) (You can substitute Bread Flour with a little White Whole Wheat)

35 Grams Shredded Coconut

170 grams Egg Yolks

71 grams Vegetable Oil

21 grams Pure Vanilla Extract

19 grams Salt (Sea Salt or Table Salt)

66 grams Honey

390 grams Coconut Water at Room Temperature


Mix the flour with the egg yolks, starter, and 340 grams of the coconut water for about 1 minute. Let the dough autolyse for 30 minutes to an hour in your bowl covered with a cloth or plastic wrap. Next add in the salt, oil and honey, rest of the coconut water and mix on speed #1 for 3 minutes and #2 for 2 minutes or by hand. This dough is very wet but it should start to come together after mixing but will still be very wet.

Next take the dough out of the bowl and place it on your work surface. Do a stretch and fold and rest the dough uncovered for 10 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl after the rest and do another stretch and fold and cover the dough in the bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes. Do one more stretch and fold and put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and let it sit at room temperature covered for 2 hours. (If the dough is still too lose, you can do several more stretch and folds until you are ready to put in the refrigerator). After 2 hours you can put the dough into the refrigerator for 24 hours or up to 2 days before baking. (Note: this dough is very moist and you may want to add more flour, but try to resist or you will make it too dry. It will firm up while in the refrigerator overnight.)

The next day (or when ready to bake) let the dough sit out at room temperature for 2 hours. After 2 hours form the dough into your desired shape and put them in floured bannetons, bowls or you can braid and make a traditional style Challah. I decided to use a cake pan which I sprayed heavily with baking spray and after forming the dough into a rough oval I placed the dough in the pan and covered it with a moist towel.

Set your oven for 450 degrees F. at least 30 minutes before ready to bake. When ready to bake place the loaves into your on your oven stone with steam and lower the temperature immediately to 350 degrees. Bake until the loaf reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees F. which in this case took about 1 hour and 10 minutes. If you make it as a free-from loaf it will probably take a lot less time.

Let the loaves cool down for at least an hour or so before eating as desired.

Be sure to visit my other blog for all of my recipes at

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