Thursday, June 14, 2012

Catholic Girl Challah

I've been slowly eeking out my own challah recipe and finally have gotten to the point where it is ready for prime time!

It is fairly safe to say that my family and co-workers, Annika's teachers, and a few of our neighbors probably have challah coming out of their ears. Little tweaks here and there resulted in many, many, many loaves of bread. That said, I'm pleased as punch with where the recipe is now ... not to mention the evolution of my braiding techniques. The 4-strand round and 6-strand oblong loaves are definitely my favorites, but I turn to the standard 3-strand braids when I'm in a hurry.

Thank you to all of my taste testers; you definitely helped shape this recipe.

(Please ignore the fact this isn't a bread knife!
I took this picture at work and we don't have a proper bread knife here)

Without further ado....

Catholic Girl Challah
Yield: 2 loaves

  • 1 c warm water 
  • 1 pkg yeast 
  • 1000 g AP flour 
  • 1 c + 2 T sugar 
  • 2 tsp salt 
  • 2 T honey 
  • 1/2 c butter (melted and cooled) + 85 g vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • Egg wash: 1 egg, 1 T (approx) water whisked together 
  1. Dissolve yeast and 2 T sugar in warm water. Allow to proof 10 minutes. 
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. 
  3. With motor running (low), add eggs, yeast mixture, honey, butter, and oil. 
  4. Knead (low) for 6-7 minutes. 
  5. Knead (med) for 3-4 minutes. 
  6. Drizzle lightly with vegetable oil, turn dough to coat, cover loosely with plastic wrap. 
  7. Let rise in draft-free location until double in size (60-90 minutes). 
  8. Gently punch down dough and cover with plastic wrap.  
  9. Let rise again in draft-free location for 60 minutes. 
  10. Divide dough into two even portions and shape each half into a braided loaf. 
  11. Place each loaf on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. 
  12. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise 60 minutes. 
  13. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  14. Using pastry brush, coat exterior of loaves with egg wash. 
  15. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

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