The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Does anyone have a baker's formula for a challah which uses whole eggs?

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

Does anyone have a baker's formula for a challah which uses whole eggs?

I'm expected to make 50 challahs in a couple of weeks.  Does anyone have a formula which uses whole eggs instead of only yolks?  The recipe I've preferred to use in the past does not use weights or percentages.  It assumes that the baker's going to make 3X1.5lb loaves.

Maverick's picture
Maverick

Most recipes I have use whole eggs. Some will add an extra yolk though. There was a post for a whole wheat challah from Inside the Jewish Bakery that looked good: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/honeywholewheatchallah

I like Maggie Glezer's challahs. Her A Blessing of Bread book has a few, and she even gives the weights for using a 5 lb bag of flour. But really it is just based on the baker's percentage. I have had good success with her "My Challah": http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/My-Challah-235867

 

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Peter Reihnart's BBA uses a formula with 18 percent whole eggs in addition to 7 percent egg yolks.

If you'll send me your "recipe" (PM) I'll convert it to baker's percentages for you.

SCruz's picture
SCruz

My favorite challah is also in Glezer's book. It's the Chernovitzer Challah. I tried several of her recipes and liked it far-and-away the best. The five-pound-bag recipe listed is for 7-8 one pound loaves.

Maverick's picture
Maverick

I haven't tried the Chernovitz Challah. I tend to like the eggy challahs (and maybe a little sweeter too), but it looks like a good recipe that I will try soon.

http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays/highholydays/challah/recipes/food/views/Chernowitzer-Challah-235871

Also, here are some tips from Glezer:

http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays/highholydays/challah

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

2 cups water

5 tsp active dry yeast

5 tsp table salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup honey

4 large eggs

9 cups APF

By the way, I've made hundreds of challahs over the years, each different, using different combinations of flours, but using the above recipe as its basis.  I have made all the challahs in Glezer's book as well as the challahs in BBA and a whole host of bread cookbooks.  What I've never done is expand my basic challah recipe to make enough dough to make 50 challahs.  That's why I need help.  That's why I need the baker's formula.

 

Maverick's picture
Maverick

I used the USDA numbers and got the following (by the way, instant yeast weighs the same as AD, so the numbers still work if you want to speed things up):

41% water
2% ad yeast
3% salt
9% veg oil
22% honey
17% eggs
 100% AP flour
Maverick's picture
Maverick

Just so you know, the weight of flour is debated a lot.

I thought I would give you a couple more decimels to the above formula just in case it matters to you:

40.51% water
1.71% ad yeast
2.56% salt
9.32% veg oil
21.73% honey
17.09% eggs
100.00% AP flour
RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

Hi there

It would be my suggestion that you determine the weights you usually use. Measure each item of your familiar formula out by volume as usual, then weigh each carefully in grams, on a scale accurate to the gram at low weights (important for the salt & yeast).  I'd do it a few times and take an average - as you are used to using volume you probably get pretty consistent weights actually, but this double check will be worthwhile for reassurance. 

By checking your own weight/cup, per teaspoon, for each item (and per egg) you will have a much better chance of repeating your formula at larger scale, than relying on the weights from the USDA.

Once you have decided how many loaves you are able to make per batch, then you just need to multiply the weight of each item, accordingly. That's why you want accurate initial weights from your volume measurements, so that you don't get out of proportion when you scale up. Say you were going to make 12 loaves in a single batch  that would be four times the weight of each of the items in the three loaves batch. You could convert to baker's percent but that's actually just another maths step you don't need on this occasion. 

Perhaps you could do a trial run, having worked out the weights of each ingredient, to say make 6 loaves as a single batch, and weighing everything out double. 

I know you are a fan of Dan DiMuzio, haven't seen him posting lately but on the off-chance that he checks in here, perhaps you could send him a PM asking for his suggestion, he's always most generous with his assistance when he does comment.

Robyn

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

I'm going to make my usual 3 loaf recipe tomorrow and will weigh everything on the way into the bowl.  I agree that it's a good idea.  Because I make this recipe so often, I rarely pay strict attention anymore to amounts as long as it tastes, looks and feels right.  My 50 loaves are for sale at a charity event so they've got to taste good.  Hence my nervousness about moving my productivity to that many loaves.

Meanwhile, I've been recommending Dimuzio's text to newbies inparticular because, unlike Hamelman, for example, it's short and sweet.  But I like the idea of getting in touch with a textbook writer for the kick of it.  I don't know how to get in touch with him easily.  Do you?

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

Yes, I'm sure familarity with the dough will really help. 

I think I would be more anxious about drawing up a workable process timing chart for getting the 50 loaves made. Have you had experience making this quantity with your set-up previously? If not, what is your rate limiting step? Size of your mixer? Fermentation time? Capacity of your oven?  Other? There have been discussions on this topic previously here on TFL, here's one of them and another, if figuring it out is new to you.

Dan DiMuzio signs in here as dghdctr, you could send him a PM on the offchance that he logs in. Here's a LINK to a Q & A session Floyd organized with him a couple of years ago.

The charity you are supporting are very fortunate to have someone willing to do this big job. Hope it all goes well.

nycbaker11's picture
nycbaker11

What can I use as a substitute to Eggs bec. I dont' like an eggy tasting dough? is water sufficient...(considering an egg is a liquid and I know a fat as well) . thank you.

Ray

Maverick's picture
Maverick

I may not have the best answer, but this is my understanding:

You could substitute water, but it will be quite different in texture. Eggs are about 76% water, 10% fat, and 12% protein. The remaining 2% includes amino acids, a little sugar etc. Standard weight for one large egg is 50g. So if you removed one egg and replaced it with 38g of water and 5g of oil then it would be closer to the original texture (still not exact since eggs really change a bread). Some might even say to add a little baking powder, but I have never tried that. Of course you don't have to be that exact either.

If you mean to remove all the eggs, I can't say the bread will really be the same. But for one egg, extra water and maybe some oil should be fine.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to change out some eggs for yogurt or buttermilk or something. Of course any milk product would make the challah no longer kosher, but I don't follow those rules anyway.

This might make a good topic to start and see what answers you get. It has been a while since I read up on the affects of eggs in bread.

nycbaker11's picture
nycbaker11

Thank you for a great explanation/advice.

Ray

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

This recipe from King Arthur, formulated by Lara Brody, uses whole eggs.  It makes a couple of lovely 1-plus-lb. loaves.  Of course, you'll have to multiply amounts for that huge assignment:

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/classic-challah-recipe