Challelujah Challahback

Challah

I picked Challah for my first entry because this is what I’m planning on giving as Christmas presents this year, so I wanted to try it out.  I was actually pleasantly surprised by a nice eggy, crusty loaf that was entirely worth the 4+ hours it took to prep, rise, bake.  Baking your own bread is retardedly easy and remarkably satisfying – I recommend it to everyone that has access to flour, yeast, water, and a stove.  There is nothing like whipping up a batch of dough and throwing it around for a while, not to mention the smells baking bread fills your house with and the awesome final product.  An added bonus is that no matter how easy a bread recipe is, a homemade loaf never ceases to impress friends and family alike.  Thanks to Cooking Books for the recipe!

Challah

Challah

Dry Ingredients:

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Yeast:

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

pinch suger

Wet Ingredients:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

2/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons water

Topping:

2 egg whites

black and white sesame seeds

Get the yeast going in a bowl with the warm water and a good pinch of sugar and let it multiply and eat for about ten minutes.   Stir the dry ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl.  Once the yeast is good and frothy, add it to the wet ingredients, then add all of that to the dry ingredients.

Mix on low with the white paddle thing until it’s all incorporated and basically looks like dough.

Scrape your dough out onto a floured work surface and start to knead it.  Keep the bag of flour nearby and if the dough is too sticky (you’ll know if it’s too sticky) work some in a pinch or so at a time.  Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until it’s smooth and springy and then form it into a ball by turning it inside out and then pinch the bottom closed.

Wipe some oil around the inside of a big mixing bowl and drop the dough ball inside, then cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise for an hour.

Punch the dough down and knead it for 2 minutes, make another ball, and let it rise again, this time uncovered, until it is one and a half times its size now.  For me, this took about an hour and a half because it’s cold in Buffalo in December.

Cut the ball into 3 equal pieces and cover them with a towel and let them sit for another 10 minutes (I know).

Roll the pieces into three ropes and braid them like a Challah is braided (in case you don’t know how to do this, you sort of take the left rope and cross it over to the right so it is now in the middle.  Then take the right rope and cross it over to the left so it is now the middle.   Repeat with the left and then keep doing this until it is done).  Brush the loaf with the egg whites (you SAVED the egg whites, RIGHT?) and then cover it for another hour.

challah3

Preheat the oven to 350.  Brush with the egg wash again and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.  Bake it for 30 minutes, rotate the bread 180 degrees, and bake it for another 20 minutes.  I put on some more egg white in the middle where it wasn’t as brown when I rotated that, but really it’s on you.  Take it out, and put it on a rack to cool.

Makes a loaf of bread like this one:

challah4

Stumble It! Digg It!

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3 Responses to “Challelujah Challahback”

  1. elisfoods Says:

    Great Challah! Thanks for sharing!

    Eli

  2. jill Says:

    WAY TO GO ROB!!!
    I can’t wait to follow along!!

  3. Gon’ eat these li’l fools like ciabatta bread « Big Caprese Salads Says:

    […] The veggie burgers from Sunday were made from these bread crumbs and those from the leftover challah.  Also, this ciabatta served well in the French onion soup I made just a couple days later and […]

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