The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

challah

davidg618's picture
davidg618

This is Challah formula from Ciril Hitz's, Baking Artisan Bread. It's tonight's dessert with cream cheese and jam, and tomorrow morning's French Toast.

David G

BLHNYC's picture

challah

February 26, 2010 - 8:54am -- BLHNYC
Forums: 

Hi Everyone-

I took advantage of the glorious snow day here in NYC and made my first challah this morning (from Malgieri's How to Bake). While it tastes delicious, it was a little flatter than I had expected. I'll tell you what I did and maybe someone can tell me how to make it higher rather than longer/flatter. This loaf, by the way, was practice for one that I want to make for a shiva call next Tuesday. I want that one to be beautiful and not just delicious!

meadmaker's picture
meadmaker

Yesterday, the bread faeries did not give me their blessings.

While the Challah bread came out looking gorgeous, it also came out way bland! The two possible reasons I could come up with are:

1) Old bread flour; and/or

2) Too much yeast.

I had used a recipe out of Sherry Yards' "Secrets of Baking" (I think that's the name of it, anyway, without going into the other room to verify it.)

INJERA BREAD:  And the Injera dough did rise, but it was VERY dark. There was no way around that. Soooo, what I'm thinking is that, while using 100% Teff flour may be the 'authentic' way they make it in Ethiopia, the yummy Injera bread at the restaurants in Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Diego are made from another recipe. With or without Teff, I don't know; however, from those that I've had at the restaurants were generally much lighter in color which is a dead giveaway that they're using some other flour(s). The best I've been able to make at home has been the buckwheat flour with seltzer water recipe. They held up well during cooking and tasted very acceptable as an accompaniment to Doro'Wat.

meadmaker's picture
meadmaker

Hello and welcome to my Blog!

After deciding to make some bread today, I discovered this site while googling recipes for yeast/starters.

As my baby, Tyler, and I are both coming down with a cold, I planned to stay at home today and what better thing to do than make bread! Well, two more reasons for this; first, I'm making some Ethiopian Doro'Wat for dinner so am making some 'authentic' Injera Bread to go with it.. from Teff flour and water. Second, I wanted to make some bread for myself as the cost of the [bad] bread in my area is now too high for our small household budget. So, hazzah!... Challah bread it is. :-)  I just remembered how nice the Challah bread from Wholefoods in La Jolla, CA, is; they sell some organic baked-same-day bread from a baker out there and woooh! Yummy! How hard could it be?

------------

Challah bread came out looking beautiful! However, the taste was bland. :-P  The only place I skimped was using old bread flour. Will try again. Meanwhile, the Injera dough is still sitting, waiting for the Doro'Wat to be done which will be in about 40 minutes. At that time, I'll add salt to the dough to stop the yeast, then make them on the griddle. Stay tuned!..

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 

I'm rather fond of challah, but my wife isn't. Most challah is too rich and too sweet for her taste. The closer to brioche it tastes, the less she likes it. So, when I made “My Sourdough Challah” from Maggie Glezer's “A Blessing of Bread,” and both my wife and I loved it, I was delighted.

Of course, all challah was made with sourdough before the introduction of commercial yeast. Since then, according to Glezer, challah has tended to be made sweeter and richer. Sourdough challah has a “moister, creamier texture” and stays fresh longer that the yeasted variety. Glezer's version has a delightful sourdough tang which lends it an almost “sweet and sour” flavor. It is wonderful plain, as toast and as French toast.

 

Ingredients

The starter

Amount (gms)

Active firm sourdough starter

35

Warm water

80

Bread flour

135

 

 

The final dough

Warm water

60

Large Eggs

3 eggs + 1 egg for glazing the loaves.

Salt

8

Vegetable oil

55

Mild honey

65

Or Granulated sugar

60

Bread flour

400*

Sourdough starter

All of the above+

    * I added an additional 3 tablespoons or so of flour during mixing, because the dough seemed too wet. This may have been needed due to my using more starter than Glezer specifies. See below.

    + Glezer says to use only 200 gms of starter, but I used all of it (250 gms)

Procedures

  1. The night before baking, mix the starter and ferment it at room temperature for 8-12 hours.

  2. In the morning, in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the starter in the water, then mix in the 3 eggs, salt, honey and oil until completely combined.

  3. Mix in all the bread flour until it forms a shaggy mass.

  4. Knead the dough on the bench or in a stand mixer until it is smooth and there is moderate gluten development. Add small amounts of water or flour to achieve the desired consistency. The dough should be quite firm.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover it tightly. Ferment for about 2 hours. It may not rise much.

  6. To make two 1 pound loaves, divide the dough into two equal portions, and divide each portion into the number of pieces needed for the type of braiding you plan to do. (I did 3-strand braids.)

  7. Form each piece into a ball and allow them to rest, covered, for 10-20 minutes to relax the gluten.

  8. Form each piece into a strand about 14” long. (I like Glezer's technique for this. On an un-floured board, flatten each piece with the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece to about ¼ inch thickness. Then roll up each piece into a tight tube. Using the palms of your hands, lengthen each piece by rolling each tube back and forth on the bench with light pressure. Start with your hands together in the middle of the tube and, as you roll

    it, move your hands gradually outward. Taper the ends of the tube by rotating your wrists slightly so that the thumb side of your hand is slightly elevated, as you near the ends of the tube.)



  9. Braid the loaves.




  10. Place each loaf on parchment paper in half-sheet pans (I used a quarter-sheet pan for each loaf.) Cover well with plasti-crap or place the pans in a food grade plastic bag, and proof at room temperature until the loaves have tripled in volume. (Glezer says this will take “about 5 hours.” My kitchen was rather cool. I proofed for 6 hours.)




  11. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF with the rack in the upper third of the oven.




  12. Brush each loaf with an egg lightly beaten with a pinch of salt.




  13. Optionally, sprinkle the loaves with sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds.




  14. Bake until done – 25-35 minutes for 1 pound loaves.




  15. Cool completely before slicing.





David


Submitted to YeastSpotting on SusanFNP's Wildyeastblog


 

SumisuYoshi's picture
SumisuYoshi

Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

When I was finishing off the last of the challah I made the week before I made this one, I was trying to figure out what to do with some leftover cranberry sauce and leftover pumpkin from other things I'd made, then the idea came to me, what about a challah made with two doughs? One with pumpkin puree providing much of the hydration, and one with cranberry sauce providing much of the hydration. I thought the colors and flavors would make a really interesting combination. And, while I was at it, why not make it with my levain? Having only made challah twice before, this may have been a bit ambitious, but why not! I decided to use the challah recipe in Bread Baker's Apprentice as a starting point, as I liked the loaf I'd made the week beforehand. I took a look at the hydration in the recipe and calculated out how much flour and hydration I wanted in the preferment, I had to estimate here as I didn't know what percentage of the pumpkin puree and cranberry sauce was water. The cranberry sauce definitely had a lower water content, and it also seemed to have somewhat of an inhibiting effect on the levain. I'm not sure why, but I have some ideas. It may have been the sugar and/or acidity levels of the sauce, or the lower availability of water because there was less water in the sauce. The more mundane reason, it could just be that I forgot to get the cranberry sauce to room temperature first (not to mention our house is colder than room temperature) so the cold starter and cold cranberry sauce may have just stayed cold much longer, as the cranberry dough did rise at the same speed as the pumpkin on the final rise.

Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

Pumpkin Cranberry Challah Recipe

Makes: 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves

Time: 2 days. First day: Pumpkin and Cranberry starter. Second day: mix final dough, ferment, degas, shape, final rise, bake.

Ingredients: (baker's % are at the bottom of the post, or will be in a day or two for now they are here)

 

  Cranberry Dough  
Starter    
  Flour 4.5 oz
  Cranberry Sauce 3.5 oz
  Water 1.250 oz
  66% Levain .5 oz
Final Dough    
  Starter 9.75 oz
  Flour 6.5 oz
  Sugar .5 oz
  Salt .125 oz
  Vegetable Oil .5 oz
  Eggs 1 Large Egg
  Egg Yolks 1 Large Egg Yolk
  Water 1 oz.

 

  Pumpkin Dough  
Starter    
  Flour 4.5 oz
  Pumpkin Puree 3.5 oz
  Water 1 oz
  66% Levain .5 oz
Final Dough    
  Starter 9.5 oz
  Flour 6.5 oz
  Sugar .5 oz
  Salt .125 oz
  Vegetable Oil .5 oz
  Eggs 1 Large Egg
  Egg Yolks 1 Large Egg Yolk
  Water 1 oz.
  Ground Cinnamon 1/2 tsp
  Ground Nutmeg 1/8 tsp
  Ground Cloves 1/8 tsp
  Ground Allspice 1/8 tsp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

  1. Mix the starters: ‘Cream’ the levain with the water and cranberry sauce, and water and pumpkin puree. Then mix in the flour until the dough forms a loose ball. Let rest 5 minutes, and then knead for 3 minutes to ensure adequate mixing. Place each starter in a lightly oiled container or bowl.

    Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

  2. Leave the starters to ferment: Leave the starters in a room temperature place to rise until nearly doubled, degas the starters and refrigerate unless you will be finishing the dough then. If refrigerating, remove from the fridge at least an hour before you start the final dough.

    Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

  3. Pre-mix ingredients: Stir together the flour, sugar and salt (and spices for the pumpkin dough), and mix the starter with the oil, water, egg and egg yolk (making it wetter so it will more easily mix with the dry ingredients).
  4. Mix everything into a dough: For both doughs: pour the liquid ingredients with starter into the dry ingredients and with a large spoon, dough whisk, or a stand mixer, mix until a ball forms, adding additional water or flour as needed.
  5. Knead to develop gluten: Knead for about 5-8 minutes, or until the dough passes the windowpane test. Once again, do this for both doughs. Once kneaded, place each dough in a lightly oiled container or bowl with a cover.

    Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

  6. Degas both doughs after they have nearly doubled: Gently remove them from their bowl or container, turn them out onto a lightly floured surface, and degas. After degassing, divide each dough piece in half, (or any other even numbered amount, or any other division you want, however you need equally sized pieces unless making a double braid) form into a rough boule and let sit a few minutes to relax.

    Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

  7. Shape boules into strands: Roll the boules out into strands, spend a little bit on each one then move to the next so the first has a chance to relax, until you end up with strands an appropriate length for the braid you plan on doing.
  8. Braid loaf as desired: I’m horrible at braiding so I’m not going to try to give advice on it! After braiding, place the loaf on parchment paper on a baking sheet and brush loaf with 1 egg white whipped until frothy, saving the remainder for after proofing.

    Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

  9. Proof loaf: Place loaf on sheet in a food safe plastic bag, or spray some plastic wrap lightly with oil and cover the loaf with the wrap. Leave the loaf to proof at room temperature until about 1 and a half to twice its original size, about 1-2 hours depending on room temperature and your starter.
  10. Preheat oven to 350°F: Just before placing the loaf in the oven, brush again with the egg wash and top with any seeds or other garnishes you like. Place the loaf in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 20 minutes before rotating the loaf 180°, continue baking for 20-40 minutes until the loaf is golden brown and measures about 190°F in the center. When done, remove from the oven to a cooling rack, and let cool for 1-2 hours before slicing.

    Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

 

This challah was really awesome, great flavors, and great colors! You may want to increase the amount of the spices some, it was just barely enough in my opinion. But you don't want it to overpower the other flavors. I made some french toast with this bread, while we normally only use cinnamon, I added ground cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger to the mix this time. It was like pumpkin pie french toast, but with a bit of fruity overtone from the cranberry. Definitely a good bread for the fall holidays.

Note: As with my last bread, this one can be made as a straight dough, rather than sourdough. Just mix everything in one step, add about 2/3 tsp yeast and add .3 oz. flour and .2 oz. water to compensate for the lack of levain.

And my second recipe submission YeastSpotting . I really enjoyed this one and hope other people enjoy it, or are inspired to their own creation!

 

Gunslinger's picture

Some of my sourdough loaves

November 22, 2009 - 8:15pm -- Gunslinger

I'm new here, and I see a lot of pics of folks' loaves of bread and thought I too would share some pics of some of mine.

I make all sorts of bread, but sourdough is certainly my favorite to work with. I have 4 starters including one wheat starter going all the time.

Here is the first sourdough challah I made. This bread has an awesome flavor.

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