The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

challah that looks like a soccer ball

krekdayam's picture
krekdayam

challah that looks like a soccer ball

I am preparing to give challah as Holiday house gifts in Spain, the three attemps have lacked the bulbous protuberances that I remember from Clevelands finest jewish bakeries.


What can I do to make the big bumps come out? They are theere when the bread is braided, they disappear upon baking with the oven spring

arzajac's picture
arzajac

1.  Use a stiffer dough.


2.  Don't use bread flour, use all-purpose flour.  (I Use Canadian all-purpose flour which is different than american AP flour, apparently)


3.  After rolling out your ropes, dredge them in flour so that they don't run together as easily.


 


See this video:


 


http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=9IFoIe_zbmE


(part II)


http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=s0WmCsdHV50&feature=related


 


 


 

Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

This Video shows a very good method, highly recommend it:



http://how2heroes.com/videos/dessert-and-baked-goods/challah-bread

rachelyeshurun's picture
rachelyeshurun

In Brief:


1. Flour the ropes


2. Don't overproof


3. Bake in a pre-heated hot oven


In detail:


Start with a good recipe that produces a slightly sticky dough. See the blog 'A year in Bread' for a fantastic recipe.


Preheat the oven to 190C before starting to braid


Roll out the ropes on a very slightly floured surface so they don't get flour inside, but once the ropes are done,  roll them in flour so that the ropes are well floured


Braid your challah, (Hamelman's bread book has great instructions). Tuck the ends in well, or the incredible oven spring you're going to get will cause the ends to pop open!


Let it proof for 20-40 minutes, better to err on less proofing than more.


Brush with an egg yolk+ few drops of water mixture and pop into the hot, hot oven.


Watch in wonder as the challot swell beyond belief!


 

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

4. Don't braid too tightly

Patf's picture
Patf

I've had results like that with challahs, when I've added too much fluid to the dough.


Add the fluid a little at a time until you have a just workable dough. I think this is what arzajac means by a stiffer dough.


Sometimes you have to adjust the quantities in a recipe, especially the amount of fluid to flour. Depends on the type of flour.


Looking again at your photo, there are random bumps on the surface which suggests that the yeast or levain isn't developing evenly. 

ladyloree's picture
ladyloree

There is a great video and recipe by Karen Weisman @ Expert Village. Its six video clips and she shows how to braid a three braid or a six braid very very easy try it. Let me know how it goes.


 


Ladyloree

arzajac's picture
arzajac

The only difference between these two breads is the amout of water used.  The first one uses a half cup of water while the bottom one uses about two tablespoons less.


This is a bread made with a very soft dough.  I like the texture of the final product but the ropes run together and the look is not as impressive as with a stiffer dough.


slack


 


 


This is a bread made with a stiff dough.  It looks better but I find it a bit tough and it certainly doesn't keep very long.


Stiff