Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ain't no Challah back girl

This one... I am excited about and proud of. I went from making french bread and pretzels to making challah bread? =) So happy. I really like bread making, and I'm enjoying the way the house smells when I bake bread. Tasty! Mom is being a real trooper too, she doesn't complain (she can't have yeast) - she just asks to have a sniff and she's good.

This recipe is from "The Culinary Institue of America: Breakfasts & Brunches"

1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 c water, warmed to 110 degrees
3 c bread flour
3 large egg yolks
1/4 c canola oil
1 tbl sugar
1 tsp salt
egg wash of 2 egg yolks whisked with 2 tbl heavy cream

1. Place yeast and water in the bowl of a mixer and stir until dissolved completely. Let the yeast proof until foamy (around 5 minutes). Add flour, egg yolks, oil, sugar and salt. Mix together on low speed using the dough hook (YAY I get to use my dough hook!!!) just until the dough begins to come together (it will look rather rough) about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and mix until dough is smooth and soft but not sticky - 5 minutes.
2. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead once or twice and gather it into a smooth ball. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size about 2 hours.
3. Fold dough gently over on itself in three or four places, turn the dough onto the lightly floured work surface and cut it into 3 equal pieces. Cover the pieces and let them rest until relaxed about 15 minutes.
4. Form each piece into a 12 inch long strand that are evenly tapered at the ends. Pinch the 3 strands together at one end and braid them together. To finish, pinch the loose ends together and tuck them under the loaf.
5. Place the loaf on a parchment lined baking sheet - brush dough lightly with egg wash and cover (lightly) and let rise until the dough springs back slowly to the touch without collapsing about 20 minutes. (The waiting is worth it - KEEP GOING!)

6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
7. Lightly brush the dough with egg wash and bake until the loaf is golden brown and makes a hollow thump when tapped on the bottom, about 45 minutes.
8. Transfer the challah to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing and serving.

If you can manage it... let loaves of this bread go stale and make french toast.... It will be well worth it - but only if you can manage to let bread go stale after tasting it!

4.75 out of 5


fat little pug said...

That looks SO beautiful! I LOVE bread! Yum!

Mister Vandemar said...

Why does the bread have to go stale in order to make french toast? I'm sure there is a good reason, but that's why I leave these things to Brat. The bread was very tasty, and I imagine that it will make delightful toast. French or otherwise.

Elsa said...

These posts are making me HUNGRY! Everything sounds delish, especially the bread!

Bratsky said...

It doesn't have to go stale... but it means that the bread won't fall apart when you dip it into the egg batter. =)