Sunday, May 27, 2012

Challah, Daring Bakers Challenge; May 2012

(1 loaf)

May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge was pretty twisted – Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to make challah! Using recipes from all over, and tips from “A Taste of Challah,” by Tamar Ansh, she encouraged us to bake beautifully braided breads.

I made half the recipe and my loaf turned out really well. I had a bit of trouble with the 6 strand braid, but I imagine if make another loaf, I will get the hang of it.

Below I have listed the quantities for half a loaf.

Challah (Honey White)

(adapted from Tammy’s Recipes)

3/4 cup warm water, separated
1 tsp  sugar
1 tbsp dry active yeast
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp light colored vegetable oil, or olive oil if you prefer

2 large eggs
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour, plus more as needed (up to 4-4 1/2 cups total)
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water


1. In mixer bowl/large mixing bowl combine ½ cup warm water, 1 Tbsp. sugar and 2 Tbsp. yeast. Allow to proof approximately 5 minutes until foamy.
2. To the yeast mixture add the remaining water, honey, oil, eggs, salt and 2 1/2 cups of flour. Knead (by hand or with your mixer’s dough hook) until smooth, adding flour as needed. Knead for approximately 10 minutes.
3. Transfer dough to a clean, oiled bowl, turn to coat or add a bit more oil on top. Cover bowl with a kitchen/tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 ½ hours.

4. Punch down the dough and shape as desired.
5. Place loaf on parchment lined or greased baking sheet, cover with a towel, allow to rise 30 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
7. Brush loaf with egg wash. (Sprinkle with seeds or toppings here if wanted.)
8. Bake 30-40 minutes until done.
9. Cool on wire rack.

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