You Gonna Eat All That?

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Challah Bread

Feeling better from the disc problem in my neck, I'd been anxious to get back into the kitchen and bake. The only major obstacle I had was not being able to move my Kitchen Aid mixer from the cabinet up to the counter top as my doc won't let me lift more than 10 pounds. And that mixer is a heavy beast.

Mom is still here helping us out while I'm healing up or should I say she's trying to keep me from over doing things. I'm not a good patient and have been keeping her and Jim on their toes. But today I had Jim hoist the mixer onto the counter and they turned me loose in the kitchen......whee!

I had three recipes in mind. One was the challah bread, another was a burnt sugar pound cake using some of my newly acquired vanilla beans and the last one was some dog biscuits for Miss Sophie and her Tennessee cousins that would be safely transported home via mom.

The challah bread was so easy to put together. I was only worried about how well I'd braid the dough. But not to fear....with mom holding one end of the dough, I braided with ease.We haven't had any yet and how we've managed not to tear into it is still a mystery. But have no doubt, there will be some French toast made with it tomorrow or Monday.
Challah Bread Recipe
4 cups unbleached bread flour

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1
1/3 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil

2 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 large egg yolks, slightly beaten

3/4 cup + 2 tbsp. water

2 egg whites, whisked until frothy
Sesame or poppy seeds for garnish (optional)


Stir together the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of your mixer. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, and yolks, 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp. water. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until all ingredients gather together and form a ball. Add more flour or water if needed.


Switch out the paddle attachment for the dough hook and knead the dough on medium speed for about 6 minutes, sprinkling in more if needed to make a supple , but not sticky dough. (it may feel slightly tacky to the touch)


Lightly oil a large bowl (I use a rising bucket with a lid that seals). Form the dough into a ball and place it in the oiled bowl. Roll it around a little to coat it with the oil. Cover and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour.


Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for 2 minutes to degas. Re-form the dough into a ball and place it back into the bowl, cover and let sit again at room temperature for another hour. It should grow to 1 and 1/2 times it size.


Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into three equal parts. Form each into a ball, cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
Roll out all three pieces into equal length strands, thicker in the middle and slightly tapered at the ends. Braid them, tucking in the ends underneath. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and transfer the bread to the pan. Brush the loaf with the egg whites then mist it with spray oil. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap.

Proof the bread at room temperature for 60-75 minutes or until the dough grows to 1 and 1/2 its original size.
Preheat the oven to 350 with the oven rack placed on the middle shelf of the oven. Brush the loaf again with the egg whites and sprinkle on the sesame or poppy seeds if you are using them.

Bake the loaf for 20 minutes then rotate the pan 180 degrees and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes. When done the bread will have a rich golden color and when probed with a thermometer will read to 190 degrees in the center. Transfer the bread to a cooling rack for at least one hour before serving.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Ramona said...

I love the last pic with the yeasty strands! I love challah and this recipe seems approachable. Thanks.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Challah looks beautiful. I made some over the holidays at well and I agree that the recipe itself was the easy part. The braiding...I got worried, since I can't even braid my own hair! :) Its fun, though! How was the french toast?

8:55 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Thanks Ramona and Chris.

Jim made me French Toast with it and it was delicious! He said he used Alton Brown's recipe.

I'll be making this bread again.

9:07 PM  
Blogger Priscilla said...

This bread looks so yummy. I was wondering if I could use the photos for a program for a fundraiser. I'm baking to help raise money for a fundraiser for an after school program in Detroit. They need a picture, but it's too hot to bake here right now. If you want more information let me know. Thanks. :-)

12:14 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Priscilla,
Sorry, my photographs are only for use on my blog. I'm sure you can find someone else who can help.

9:56 PM  

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