Monday, September 15, 2008

Challah Bread

1 cup lukewarm water
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons oil (I used vegetable)
3 tablespoons honey
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
sesame or poppy seeds ( optional )

Combine the water, eggs (except the 2 whites), honey and oil together in large bowl. Whisk till they are well mixed. Add two cups of flour, the yeast and salt. Whisk together till well mixed. Rest for 15 minutes, uncovered. Add the remaining flour, half a cup at a time till the dough becomes firm enough to knead. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it for 10 minutes or so adding flour by rounded tbl as needed. Rub it with a small amount of oil and place it in a greased bowl, covered, to rise till doubled, 1-1.5 hours. Once it's doubled turn it out onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Cut it into three equal portions and roll them into 3 15 inch or so pieces. Braid the bread, tucking the ends underneath when you are done. Whisk the whites till they are foamy. Brush some foam on the top of the braid. Cover it and let it rise till doubled, about 1-1.5 hours. Remove the cover, re-whisk the whites and brush another coat of foam onto the braid. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. After 20 minutes turn it around and cook it for another 10-15 minutes, at 375. It should be 190 on an instant read thermometer. If it starts to get too brown at any point cover it loosely with foil. Cool on a wire rack.

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So I got this recipe off a website, but I don't remember where it was. If this is your recipe, let me know and if your site is the one I got it from I will give you credit. Anyway, challah rules. It's slightly sweet, rich and eggy. It makes awesome french toast, sandwiches and general snacking.

First thing is put the water, 2 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks, honey and oil in a large bowl. Make sure to keep the whites from the separated eggs since you will be using it as a wash later. Keep them in the fridge, please. It will be better for everyone that way. Heh. Anyway, whisk the liquids together. Once that's combined put in two cups of flour, the yeast and the salt. I also added some sugar here because I didn't have 3 tablespoons of honey. I also didn't use bread flour in this, but it came out really good anyway. But mix all that stuff together really well. I used a whisk. Once it's well combined let it sit, uncovered, for 15 minutes. After it has sat add the rest of the flour, 1/2 a cup at a time, till it is firm enough to knead. Eventually you will need to just get in there with your hands. But this is what bread is all about here folks, sticky hands and flour to the elbows. Now turn it out onto a floured surface. I didn't bother working all the flour into the dough before turning it out, I figured it would all work out in the end. And it did. So that's good. Now knead it for 10 minutes. It's pretty tiring, but wicked worth it. Now oil it lightly and put it in a big, lightly oiled container. Cover it and let it rise till doubled, this will take about an hour and a half or so. Once it's doubled turn it out onto your prep surface or right onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Cut the dough into three equal sections and roll them out into 15" inch or so long rolls. Push them together at one end and... well, now you learn something a little bit personal. I hope it doesn't change your opinion of me but... I can't braid. Lets.. lets not talk about it, ok? Let's just move on. Braid the dough. If it's not already on the prepped sheet, do that now. Take the whites out of the fridge (you might want to do this earlier so they get to room temp) and whisk them till they are foamy. Brush them on the braid and cover it loosely with plastic wrap. You should probably put the whites back in the fridge. Let it rise till it's doubled, it will take about 1-1.5 hours again. Once it's doubled remove the plastic and brush it with some more whites (you will need to re-whisk them a bit). Now sprinkle it with sesame or poppy seeds if you like. I like sesame seeds myself and lots of them. Bake the loaf in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or so. Take it out, turn the heat down to 375 and if it is brown enough cover it loosely with foil. Now turn it around and put it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until 190 degrees inside and gorgeously browned. Check it every once in a while in the last leg of the baking and if it starts getting too brown cover it with foil. Take it out and then let it cool as much as you can.

8 comments:

The Brutal Gourmet said...

Damn that looks good. I will have to try that this Friday while my stock is going.

Bob said...

Thanks, Brutal. It came out pretty tasty too.

Spryte said...

That looks great!!

Bob said...

Thanks Spryte! :)

Katie said...

Oh yum! This looks awesome!

Bob said...

Thanks Katie! :)

mom said...

chris and i have made bread puddings with hallah. ive done chocolate, berry and apple. three separate ones, not all together.

Bob said...

Heh, I bet all three together would be good though. Chris made a bread pudding yesterday with this recipe. It was wicked good. It was white chocolate and we put caramel rum sauce on it. Good times.

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