Challah braids losing definition during rise & bake
I don't think this is a sourdough question, because I've had this problem with other doughs also, though not in the last few years. I'm wondering what factors influence whether the braids retain their definition during proof & bake.
This is my second time making Maggie Glezer's beautiful-looking sourdough challah; the first time, in February, I attributed the (aesthetic) failure of the bread to our cold house - it's usually under 20 degrees and frequently under 18 in the winter. Not a problem right now... the house was over 25 degrees, more like 27-28 the entire time I was preparing this dough.
I revived my firm starter and followed the recipe exactly. All steps seemed to go extremely, prodigiously well. Yet despite the dough being very cooperative during braiding, the challah came out with no differentiation between the braids, just a weird-looking vaguely football-shaped loaf.
For photos and step-by-step, please visit my blog here.
I make a lot of challah and Can anyone give advice as to why the braids would fail so utterly, and how to make them beautiful like all the photos I've seen of this challah for next time?
Jennifer in BreadLand