Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Challah! (Holla!!)

I am very excited to say yet another type of bread has worked out in my favor!! I decided to make tasty challah bread (originally to go with turkey burgers - yum! But with a secondary hope of using old stale challah for French toast! Yay!!) and boy did I ever. I used a great recipe and took the edits from the first commenter to ensure extra tastiness!

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups warm water 
1 packet active dry yeast
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs plus 3 yolks
1/2 tablespoon salt
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

How To

1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Beat in honey, oil, 1 egg and 3 yolks, and salt. Add the flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition, graduating to kneading with hands as dough thickens. (I had a major issue with this being INCREDIBLY sticky, so be sure you wait until it looks less sticky before getting your hands in there, and FLOUR YOUR HANDS!!) Knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. Cover with a damp clean cloth and let rise for an hour or so until dough has doubled in bulk.
   

2. Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto floured board. Knead the dough for a minute or more, adding flour as needed to keep from getting sticky. Divide into thirds and roll into long pieces as narrow as you can (no less than 1.5" in diameter). Pinch the ends of the three snakes together firmly and braid from middle. (I left that sentence in tact from the original recipe - what do they mean "braid from the middle"? How do you do that? I braided from one end and it was lopsided, perhaps "braiding from the middle" would've prevented that, but I didn't know how to do it.) Grease your baking tray and place finished braid on it, covered with a towel, and let rise about one hour.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
4. Beat the remaining egg and brush a generous amount over each braid. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. (My oven is half-sized so the bread rose and hit the top, hence the nice line in the middle! Be sure your rack is lowered for proper rising.)

Enjoy warm, with butter or a burger or honey or anything else! Warning: you'll fill up fast, it's very dense :) Serves a small army! 

Bonus Recipe! 

We made french toast like I planned! 

Ingredients

1/4 loaf of challah
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 C milk
1 Tbsp sugar (the bread is already quite sweet!)
Dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, salt
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all of the ingredients (aside from the bread) together and pour over cut up pieces of challah. Cover and let soak overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350 and bake covered for about 40 minutes. Enjoy with maple syrup! 

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