Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Challah Back Youngin'

Hello there 2010!

Alex and I are back from spending the holidays with family and friends up and down the east coast. It has been a crazy couple of weeks, but it's back to the real world.

For Christmas, Alex's mom got me this neat looking King Arthur Flour Dough Whisk. So I decided to try it out by making some sweet and delicious challah bread. I really enjoy making bread and the whisk turns out to make the whole mixing and kneeding process 10x easier. I love it. The challah turned out really good too, not as sweet as challah you get at the bakery, but still soft and chewy.

Challah (by Joan Callaway from All Recipes)
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water.
  2. Beat in honey, oil, 1 egg, and salt.
  3. Add the flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition, graduating to kneading with hands as dough thickens.
  4. Knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour if needed.
  5. Cover with a damp clean cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hours, until dough has doubled in bulk.
  6. Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto floured board.
  7. Knead for five minutes or so, adding flour as needed to keep from getting sticky.
  8. Divide into thirds and roll into long snakes about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
  9. Pinch the ends of the three snakes together firmly and braid the three pieces together, pinching the remaining ends together like the beginning.
  10. Place finished braid on a greased a cookie tray.
  11. Cover with towel and let rise about one hour.
  12. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  13. Beat the remaining egg and brush a generous amount over the braid.
  14. Bake for 40 minutes. Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.
  15. Cool on a rack for at least one hour before slicing.

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