The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Challa Question

patishaffer's picture

Challa Question

I have only baked Challah several times. I like how everyone elses braids look after they are baked, mine seem to always stretch apart. I am baking some for a friend and I want the braiding to look solid and pretty. What am I doing wrong? I used the recipie from BBA and the dough was maybe a little on the dry side, but it did this when it was wetter too. Should I not proof it so much? I only let this proof for about a half hour. I was wondering if I should try another recipie and see if it still does the same thing.

Janknitz's picture

and indicates good texture and gluten structure.  Your challah looks wonderful!

If you want a more even color to your challah, coat it with the egg wash twice.  I coat mine right after braiding, and again after the final proofing, right before I put it in the oven. 

jleung's picture

I thought "braid explosions" happen because of underproofing - when the loaves haven't sufficiently proofed (75-85%), they spring too much in the oven, making the braids stretch and tear, like so:

(= what happens when I start baking late at night and become impatient)


instead of

The definition of the braids could still be a bit better but you'll notice there wasn't as much tearing compared to the first loaf.

- Jackie


summerbaker's picture

I have had this experience as well.


Elagins's picture

give the dough room to proof and spring and chances are you won't have the pull-apart problem.

Stan Ginsberg

patishaffer's picture

Wonderful suggestions, I will try them all. In PR's Crust and Crumb he says to handle the dough very little. Do you still need to get all the air bubbles out when he suggests this?