Thursday, May 21, 2009

Challah

Baking bread! Whoo! (Man, I love being back in a place with a real kitchen.) To be specific, I made challah.


Challah is a braided Jewish bread. The bread doesn't contain any milk or butter (it uses water and vegetable oil instead), making it parve. That also makes it considerably better for you than its French cousin, brioche.

The dough is pretty straightforward -- water, yeast, honey, a little sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, salt, and flour. I found a pretty good recipe over here, which also gives a handy guide for how to make a 4-strand braid. (I replaced some of the sugar in that recipe with honey.)

After the first rise, split the dough into 4 balls and roll them out to equal length (I got about 15 inches out of these).


Okay, the slightly tricky part. Lay out the ropes of dough and pinch one end together. Then, umm... well, just follow the King Arthur Flour instructions I linked above, haha. You'll know you're doing it right when it looks kinda like a squid.


When you're done, pinch the ends together and tuck them under. Et voila, a braided challah that looks super-complicated but really was not.


Cover and let proof until doubled in size, at least another half hour. Coat with egg wash, then bake in the oven! Be careful not to overbake, and you will be rewarded with:


It was great! Soft and warm and slightly chewy.


Also? This is a whole freaking lot of bread. The loaf is huge! Methinks there is some bread pudding in my future...

1 comment:

ijoemonkey said...

jen, the challah looks amazing!!! bake it again this september!