The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My first attempt at making a Challah

  • Pin It
jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

My first attempt at making a Challah

This is my very first attempt at making Challah (at the cooking school) with poppy seed, sesame seed  and a bit of coarse sea salt on top


jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

and this is what its like inside.  Do let me know if anyone would like the recipe.  Its quite easy.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Looks pretty darn good to me.  I would have expected the color of the crumb to be a bit closer to yellow thatn stark white (because of the egg in the Challah formula) but from what I see you've got a good thing going here.  A lot of the Challah I see has a very dark brown crust  -  which I find unapppealing.  I like the golden brown on your loaf very much.

athagan's picture
athagan

I think I'd have left it in the oven for another five to ten minutes, but otherwise it is some good looking bread.  Nice crumb structure.


Storebought eggs don't provide a lot of color.


.....Alan.


 


 

mrosen814's picture
mrosen814

Looks amazing!! Great job! :)

wutmeworry's picture
wutmeworry

Looks really good!  When my sister and I were kids, we judged the quality of challah by pulling out some of the white part and mooshing it up with our fingers. If it turned back into something like dough, it was perfect. My grandmother's was a little more yellow on the inside, but my mother said she added food coloring to make it look like she used more eggs. :-)

breadinquito's picture
breadinquito

well done, I would be interested in the recipe, great crumb! did you knead the dough by hand? Happy baking Paolo

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

8 grms dry yeast


60 ml water


40 grm sugar


60 grm unsalted butter


120 ml milk


2 tsps honey


1 tsp salt


2 eggs


430 grm bread flour


 Dissolve dry yeast with water first. 


Melt  butter and transfer to mixing bowl.  Add milk , sugar, honey and salt, mix well.


Add yeast mixture and eggs to  mixing bowl.  Add and mix in flour to form dough.  Turn out and knead for abt 10 mins until elastic.


Place ball of dough in a lightly butterd mixing bowl  and brush with a little more button ont top.  Cover well and lave to rise a a warm place until double in size.


Remove dough, punch down gently and divide into two equal portions.  Further divide each portion into three equal parts.  Roll each into a long rope, braid and tuck ends under.


Tranfer loaf to a baking shet brushed with oil and sprinkle with fine cornmeal or semolina. Cover and leave to rise a room temp until almost double in size


Preheat oven to 200C. Glaze loaves with egg yolk mised in a tbsp of water. Sprinkle with poppy seeds, sesame seeds and coase sea salt


Bake for 30 mins, brushing any white exposed parts with more glaze after 20 mins. and continue bakig until brown.


(I have halved all ingredients to make 1 loaf)


 

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

They look delicious!


I don't know that you needed to bake them longer, but probably should have turned them halfway through because one side looks darker than the other.  Your oven is probably a little uneven. 


About halfway through I turn them end to end and if using two racks, I switch racks. 

Nim's picture
Nim

I want to post pic of my first sourdough challah, but I am not sure how to do it. How do we upload pics?

Gunslinger's picture
Gunslinger

Click the little tree above and go from there.


Here's the first challah I ever did. Mine is a sourdough version and darn good.


jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

this looks really good but too complicated for me as a beginner.  I can just abt handle three strands.

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

both of your breads look great!  Thanks for sharing!  Al

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

you should be able to post pics by following the instruction.


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2960/posting-photos-faq

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

Thank you all for your comments.  The egg yolks in HK are a little paler, the come from China or Thailand.  We tend to be a bit suspicious of eggs that have a very yellow yolk as it can be artificial, you'd be amazed at what China can do to their products.  I used SAF yeast for the breads and found that it was much better than the Hovis yeast that I used, maybe because it was newly opened packet.  I'm that it this  brand  doesn't smell as strong as other brands.


I'm at work so I won't be able to anwser to each post separately and will try to cover every question in in post.  I kneaded this by hand.  The recipe calls for 500 grams of flour and I just halved everything. I will type out the recipe when I'm home.


A quick question:  do I need to use steam for all breads or just for hard crusty loaves?  Thanks. 

JoeV's picture
JoeV

You only use steam when you are looking for a chewy, crusty crust like on Italain bread or Kaiser rolls.For challah, a wash of whole egg with a bit of milk will proivide a soft, golden crust. As was said earlier, rotating your baking sheet half way through your bake will give a more even color. Every oven is just a little different in how it moves heat within it.


Traditionally, Challah has about 50 grams of egg yolks per 200 grams of bread flour. That not only gives beautiful color, but it also give a crumb that is somewhat like cotton candy when pulled apart.


Excellent work for your first loaf.

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

Thank you so much for the tip and for your encouraging words.  This is one of the more difficult breads that I have learnt to make, I had a little diffculty handling the dough as it was more sticky/messy than the normal dough with the melted butter and egg added.  Perhaps I should try using the bread machine another time to help with the kneading, just to see if there is an improvement/difference

JoeV's picture
JoeV

Challah dough is sticky, but the high level of moisture (hydration) is what gives this bread its fantastic texture. I have only made challah in my KA mixer and by hand, and I'm not sure how the bread machine would do.


Here's another tip for working this dough. After it has risen, pour the dough onto a floured surface, but DO NOT punch it down. Instead, just take your bench scraper or a sharp knife and divide the dough into three equal pieces along the length of the dough, then gently shape the pieces into long strands. Then do your braiding on a sheet of parchment in a sheet pan, making sure to dust the parchment with cornmeal or semolina flour. Cover the braided dough with oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise until about doubled in size. This technique keeps the gluten strands oriented in the same direction and makes for a very soft, almost silky crumb, similar to strands of cotton candy when baked.


Have fun with the next loaf, and be sure to save some slices to make French toast with. The night before making French toast, put out the number of slices you want so they can dry overnight. Then put the dried challah slices in your custard and cook as usual. This is the best French taost you'll ever eat. Find a good French toast custard recipe to use.

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

Thank you JoeV for the very useful tip.  I'll def try your suggested method.  Howev  , it would be kind of diffculit to get them into equal portions since the dough is round. Is it possible to cut from the divided portions again to make them even and roll them out? I'm an amateur at this and am afraid I may mess up the dough if I cut into the dough too many times.  Can the small cut bits be easily incorporated into the dough?  I'm an amateur at this and have only made the Challah twice, once at the baking school (top pic) and another time at home (pic of cut bread)  Thanks.

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

With an overnight bulk fermentation in the refridgerator.  You will find the dough much easier to handle for shaping that way.  I almost never use any additional flour for the shaping stage and the dough is pliable and easy to handle when it is cold (but not so cold that the dough tears).


You can use a scale to weigh out the dough for even braids.  Once I have the desired amount of dough for each rope, I flatten each ball of dough out, and roll it up tightly into a rope--be sure to seal the edges.  This seems to align the gluten nicely. 


 

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

Thank you JoeV for the very useful tip.  I'll def try your suggested method.  Howev  , it would be kind of diffculit to get them into equal portions since the dough is round. Is it possible to cut from the divided portions again to make them even and roll them out? I'm an amateur at this and am afraid I may mess up the dough if I cut into the dough too many times.  Can the small cut bits be easily incorporated into the dough?  I'm an amateur at this and have only made the Challah twice, once at the baking school (top pic) and another time at home (pic of cut bread)  Thanks.

JoeV's picture
JoeV

You will get the hang of dividing the dough even though it is round, by cutting a little wider on the sides than for the middle. The more important part is having your strands the same length for an even braid from front to back. Once braided, you can "adjust" the loaf to squeeze it in a bit or stretch the loaf out a bit. Regardless, it will taste jsut fine. Ask your teacher to show you how to cut the dough to get pieces of approximately the same weight.


Oh, and remember that this is a hobby where we eat our mistakes!