Wednesday, January 18, 2012's Challah and a Twist

I've been asked to post some recipes - so first let me explain that when I cook...oy, do I cook. I have the recipe - I'll post it...but take my word for this - you are going to want to scale this down. The recipe makes about 12 medium size loaves of bread...Lauren gave me the recipe and I changed it a here's the adapted version. Understand that I'm really bad at I'll do my best.

  • 1 package of yeast
  • some sugar (yeah, I maybe 3 tablespoons...a bit more?)
  • 2 cups of warm water - not hot!!!! not cold...
Mix this together and drive Aliza to school (okay, that translates to letting it sit for about 10 minutes till the yeast is kind of foamy). Pour into the yeast mixture:
  • 2.5 kilos (that's like about 16 cups of flour, maybe a bit more) - I use the 70% whole wheat; or 1.5 packages of whole wheat and 1 package of white flour
  • 1 cup of sugar (I know, I know..)
  • 1 cup of honey (you want to taste amazing bread...add the honey)
  • 1 cup of oil (I use canola)
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups of warm water
  • 2 TABLESPOONS of salt (don't put in less, seriously)
Now, you mix this all until it's a dough - typically, I end up adding more flour until you get to around 3 kilo or about 20 cups of flour - but you can play with the water and the flour till it's a nice dough.

  • Knead it for a while - let it rise; punch it down; let it rise. (I cover it while it rises...don't ask me why.) If you can put the dough in a warm place, it will rise faster.
  • Shape it and let it rise again.
  • Paint beaten egg over the top - this helps it get that golden color; I sprinkle Zatar (hyssop)( on the bread before baking; or sometimes I saute onions and put some on before baking.
I put a tray of water in the oven - that usually helps make the bread lighter.

You bake it for about 25 minutes - at 170 C - around 350 F - until it is golden brown - make sure the bottom is brown as well.

As for the shaping - you can do all sorts of things with this dough. My favorite is the four-braid. Aliza makes an amazing 8-braid loaf. Enjoy and please do let me know what you think, how it comes out!

When I wanted to learn how to braid the challah with four strands, I looked on YouTube - I was hoping to post a simple example here - but I can't find the one I first watched and these are honestly confusing. Anyway, find one you like - and go for it. Happy baking!

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