The Challah is rising…

April 25th, 2010

no, this is not a Jewish thriller as @foodgeekery commented… this is a wonderful Sunday of baking and studying with my law school buddy and fellow art law fanatic (ok, perhaps there was more talking than studying).  Fortified with lattes, we made four beautiful loaves of challah during our first of what will be many fun baking sessions… The dough came together very nicely, although at one point we were afraid it may come alive and attack us… next time, we would increase the sugar or perhaps add some honey or maple syrup…Aaron’s father recommended golden raisins… Also, Aaron introduced me to Wickles…sweet but spicy pickles… wow!  delicious!

look at this bread rise…

Aaron finishing up the braiding…

Look at the yummy bread… I think I need another slice…

(from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads)

2 packages of dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
5 cups bread or all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup hot water (120-130)
3 eggs
1 egg white
1 egg yolk, beaten, mixed with 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cold water
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

1. In a large mixing bowl, combined the yeast, 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and butter. Gradually add the hot water and beat forcefully by hand, or at medium speed using the mixer flat beater, for 2 minutes. Scape the bowl occassionally.

2. Add the eggs and egg white. Beat and continue to add flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it continues to be moist, add small amounts of flour until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl.

3. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and kneed until it is smooth and elastic. Or kneed in a mixer bowl under the dough hook. Knead for 10 minutes.

4. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside until if has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

5. Punch down the dough and knead out the bubbles. Divide the dough in half. Divide each half into 3 equal pieces. Under your palm roll each into a 12″ length. Lay the rolls parallel to each other. Start the braid in the middle and work to one end. Pinch the ends securely together. Turn around and complete the other end. Repeat with the other dough half.

6. Carefully brush the braids with the egg glaze and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Let the braids rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

7. Preheat the oven 400 about 20 minutes before baking.

8. Bake until the braids are a shiny brown, 30 to 40 minutes, and test down when a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry and clean.

Check out my other Challah post.  Also, don’t forget to enter Culinary Mad Libs for a chance to win a Le Creuset 14″ Oval Baking Dish…

6 Responses to “The Challah is rising…”

  1. Manggy on April 27, 2010 5:13 am

    Lol! Was it really hot?? I’d like some with butter and jam, please! :)

  2. admin on April 28, 2010 1:15 pm

    Chicago is never hot! :) haha! I’ll have some for you!

  3. Deelish Dish on April 28, 2010 9:44 pm

    I loooove challah bread…especially as french toast. Mmmmm.

  4. admin on April 29, 2010 7:26 am

    haha! me too! I’m having challah french toast for breakfast!

  5. Introducing… Tasty (Kitchen) Tennis… at on June 6, 2010 8:50 pm

    [...] we have Aaron, master of bread baking and pizza throwing. He has a soft spot for bagels and breadsticks.  Then, [...]

  6. Bakefest 2010: The Afternoon at on September 5, 2010 2:32 pm

    [...] Sourdough Bread with Thyme Challah! [...]

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