The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

ITJB Round 2 Week 2: Bakery Challah (p. 26): 4/28/12 to 5/5/12

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Urchina's picture
Urchina

ITJB Round 2 Week 2: Bakery Challah (p. 26): 4/28/12 to 5/5/12

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo (OK, not really) -- bakery challah! I'd never made challah before test-baking for this book, and I can't believe I missed out on so many years of this fantastic bread. It's beautiful, it's tasty, it's so much easier than it looks. 

I think I'm going to go all-out with a really snazzy braid this time -- but the braiding directions in the book make it easy. (And watch -- now that I've announced my intentions to the world, I'll have the worst-ever braid. Murphy's Law lives at my house). 

Hope everyone enjoys this one -- 

Kendra

P.S. -- I checked - no errata listed for this recipe. 

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

Kendra, Just a thought if you can still edit this posting... could confuse someone... maybe... Can't wait to see pictures of your adventuous Braid!

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

baked Bakery Challah together. We sure have different skills when it comes to braiding! This dough is a wonderful golden beauty.  Helen mentioned to me that it reminds her of brioche dough. I agree. As Kendra stated there was no errata for this dough, it turned out perfect as written. The talent is in the braiding for this loaf.  The following braids are Helen's (gmabaking2's)... She made the three strand, braiding instructions on page 43.

 

and now ready for the oven... One with poppy seeds, one with sesame seeds.

and her finished bread, waiting for those eager taste-testers.... awesome!!! 

Barb, (gmabaking) did 4 strands, instructions on page 45.  

 

and here are her finished loaves... what talented sisters I am blessed with!!!

Awww.... crumb!

 Both of my sisters are braid artists, I think!!!! And I, Diane, (gmagmabaking2) am "braid challenged" so I did the challah twist.. on page 39. ( Always have preferred dancing! ) Which when risen, shows almost no twist pattern... accckkk!

 Still tastes awesome... and I am thinking that is the goal! I adapted the recipe to only make one loaf, as my husband and myself would have wayyyy to much fun eating two loaves.... but, having said that, I may HAVE TO make two loaves the next time I make it... it is so much better than the challah we made in round one. Barb tells me, from her experience, that this is a great bread for making French Toast.  YUM!

Helen, just sent proof of that!

 

I am giving my healthy brown free-range chickens total credit for my "golden" color. This was another great bake, and more great time spent via cyberspace, texting and phone calls, with my sisters.  Thanks again, ITJB crew for this challenge opportunity.

Diane

carlene's picture
carlene

Absolutely beautiful!  I can't wait to make mine.  I'm baking tomorrow.

Carlene

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

You will love this dough, can't wait to hear how it goes for you... I think it makes the best toast! Had some with bacon and eggs this morning. Will definitely have this bread around.  Love it.

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

Error

varda's picture
varda

Here is my challah.   Strangely I used the same diagram to braid each - my first ever challah with five strands - and they look completely different.   Not sure I understand braids. 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Varda,

These look lovely to me.  The one on the left looks like it maybe underproofed - hence lighter dough that is shown in your photo.

When I first started braiding loaves I found lots of sites on youtube and this one: http://myfoodaddress.blogspot.com/  I found to be the most comprehensive.

If you check it out, scroll down 3/4ths of the page and there are numerous links to videos demonstrating different braiding techniques.  I like it because not everyone has the same approach.  I was able to find the one that fit me and now braids are one of my favorite things to do with dough.  I especially like 4 strand braids for some reason.

Have fun.  Now I have to go and mix up some challah dough too.....will try this one but will convert it to a sd loaf and see what happens :-)

Take Care,

Janet

P.S.  I didn't use the 'here' trick you showed me how to do because I wasn't sure the right link would copy and I wanted to make sure you got the 'right' one.....

 

P.P.S.S.  When I tried to connect to the address above nothing happened so I am now going to try again. HERE 

Hopefully that takes you directly there.  :-)  While I am at it this is a link showing another 6 strand braid which I liked because of how she sets up her strands.  Skip through the first minute as the braiding begins at the 2 minute mark. 

varda's picture
varda

Thanks for the links.  -Varda

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

Your braids look so nice and even. I tried the four strand for the first time, trying is the key word here I think-I was trying so hard to not stretch the braid that I made one loaf so loose it kind of flattened out on top and didn't brown the middle. Put it back in the oven and it came out fine. The other one has two plaits side by side in the braid! So much for trying to pay attention to detail! Not one of my volunteer tasters noticed or complained however. This recipe gets high marks from me, both for economy and for ease of following.

varda's picture
varda

of braiding is the rolling out.   I tried to roll a bit,  rest a bit, repeat 3 times, and that helped but I find this stuff very challenging.   We had Challah and (fill in blank) for dinner.   My husband thought the Challah was fabulous.   It seems the high sugar content of this recipe did the trick for him - and also the eggy goodness - I think most other challah recipes I've made have less sugar, and use the whole egg in the dough instead of egg yolks only.    But I agree - this was just terrific.    Yours came out very nicely and long too - my strands always snap back like rubber bands, and I end up with short fat loaves. 

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

Those braids are so even and beautiful... I can't see how they are much different. Lovely.

varda's picture
varda

Hi Diane right?    I guess from the angle in the photo I included they don't look that different.    But what does it matter.    It's all good eating.    You did the single spiral?   I have never tried that.    For braiding, I find that I can't really think it through - I just have to follow directions as best as possible and hope for the best.   -Varda   

Nici's picture
Nici

I thought, silly me, that as I had last braided (plaited) my youngest daughter's hair some 18 years ago ( she is now 28) that like bicycling this is something you never forget how to do.  That was an assumption too far.  I could not get even braids, some were lumpy, and  some were stringy.  It did suprise me that the braiding seemed almost to dissapear once baked.  As it was an easy dough to make, although 6 egg yolks was an awful lot, I will make it again and have another go.  I cannot wait to have a slice tomorrow morning.  Cheers Nici

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

My twist rose into a great loaf with NO twist lines... but the taste is fabulous as I am sure yours will be. Enjoy... your braids look beautiful.

Polish Babka's picture
Polish Babka

Love the challah, it's not too dry, nice crumb, perfect for french toasts.

When I mixed the dough it was pretty dry, felt not right but after it doubled it was perfect. I used Gold Saf yeast. I should practice with playdough :D

The braiding of 4 strands was tricky, the beginning came out fine but then I did sht wrong... My 4y.o was "helping" and 10m.o wanted some attention too LOL!

Now I have to figure out what to do with those 7 egg whites, not a big fun of white omlet...

Happy Mother's Day!!

varda's picture
varda

It reminds me of how my daughter used to braid her hair years ago.    Amazing that you were able to do that with two little ones "helping."   I agree this is a delicious challah recipe.   -Varda

carlene's picture
carlene

What a beautiful loaf.  You did a great job in spite of your distractions.

Carlene

carlene's picture
carlene

This challah was very easy to make.  The only difficult part is the braiding.  I did the high four-strand braid that is on page 47.  It was the same one I did when I remade the Honey Wheat Challah (semester one, December  2011) after I had tried the five strand without much success.   I lost track of time and my loaves proofed just a bit too long, but the taste and the texture were still great.  It's such a beautiful light yellow color.  It was devoured in short order when I left it in the staff lounge at work with a tub of whipped butter.

Carlene