Step into a Jewish bakery and prepare to be overwhelmed with sweet, toasty smells and more variety than you may be prepared for. Thankfully blogger Shannon Sarna of The Nosher has a new book of recipes out that demystify the unfamiliar and bring the favorites to your own home kitchen. This whole-grain challah will ruin you for all other braided breads.

Instead of using 100 percent whole-wheat bread flour in this recipe, I use a mix of flours: unbleached white bread flour, whole-wheat bread flour and oat bran (which adds sweetness and some health benefits too). I encourage you to play around with your flour mix to include rye flour, spelt flour, buckwheat flour, or others depending on your preferences.

Note: To ensure the freshness of your whole-wheat flour, make sure to store it in the freezer. Allow the whole-wheat flour to sit out at room temperature 20 to 30 minutes before using to make bread. Cold flour can slow down the rising process.

Reprinted with permission from Modern Jewish Baker