The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Challah Braid

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BettyR's picture
BettyR

Challah Braid

I made two of these on Friday, one for a party I was going to on Saturday and one for us. Ours is almost gone but I cut a piece for breakfast this morning and this bread is still just as soft and fresh as it was on Saturday when we ate the first loaf. It must be something about the 4 hour soak that makes this bread stay fresh so long. I make all of our bread and this is the longest I've had a homemade bread stay just baked fresh. I'm very impressed with this recipe.

NOTE: I have a very large two paddle bread machine and the soaker rises to the top of my pan, so if you have a smaller bread machine I would make this in a Kitchen Aid of some other way so the soaker doesn't overflow in your machine.

Challah Braid

1 heaping tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons oil
1/4-cup honey
3-1/2 ounces tub butter – melted
3/4-cup powdered milk
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 cups very warm water
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
3 heaping tablespoons vital wheat gluten(I don't have bread flour)
4 cups all-purpose flour
1-tablespoon yeast

2 cups all-purpose flour

Place all the ingredients (except for the last 2 cups of flour) in bread machine in the order listed. Turn machine on just to mix well then turn the machine off and allow mixture to sit in the bread machine for 4 hours. (Mixture will take on a slight sour smell, don’t worry it’s supposed to do that)

Then add the last 2 cups of flour to the machine, select the dough cycle and turn the machine back on. When the dough cycle is finished remove the dough from the machine.

Braid and baste with egg wash…allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Baste with egg wash again and bake at 375° for 25 – 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 180°.

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

Could you explain why the need for vital wheat gluten?  I thought, and am probably wrong, that you used vital wheat gluten when you use whole wheat flour.  I notice you use all-purpose flour but didn't see any whole wheat flour.  Your recipe sounds interesting.  Hopefully, you can give me some insight on the use of vital wheat gluten with all purpose flour.  Thanks!

BettyR's picture
BettyR

Sorry I didn't get back with an answer sooner...I haven't been on the computer in a couple of days.

I live in the rural South and the grocery store here doesn't sell bread flour. Our all purpose flour here is a very soft flour intended to be used in pies, cakes, cookies, biscuits and the like. It doesn't have enough gluten in to make a proper loaf of bread. But they do sell gluten you can add to the flour to make bread.

I have purchased bread flour in the past when I had to make a trip into the city, and I really did enjoy it. But it is a 75 mile trip one way and I can't justify going in just to buy flour.

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

for letting me know.  What part of the south do you live?  I currently live in GA.

BettyR's picture
BettyR

I'm on the Texas Gulf Coast not far from the Louisiana boarder.

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

Are you near lake jackson?

BettyR's picture
BettyR

No, I'm about 75 miles North West of Beaumont...On the Southern edge of the Big Thicket. A little West of Sour Lake.

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

whereabouts you lived.  I have a brother in Lake Jackson.  Never been to Texas so was wondering how close you were.