The Fresh Loaf

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This week's Challah bake

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nycbaker11's picture
nycbaker11

This week's Challah bake

I'm always trying to tweak my Challah recipe wether testing different hydration levels or mixing AP flour with some BF  and/or adding a hint of whole wheat flour etc...  This week I made 2 batches and I omitted the oil all together from one, wondering how the texture differs from the batch with the oil in the dough.  

Ray

 

 

 

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

That round one is GORGEOUS!

isand66's picture
isand66

So how did the oil omission end up?

nycbaker11's picture
nycbaker11

Holding back the oil took away the fluffiness (is that a word ?) from the challas crumb. I wonder if I over kneaded the dough by hand as well. I did notice window pane was hard to achieve as well. OR It might've been under proofed also.

Ray

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Thank you for this post, nycbaker11.  The loaves look like they were baked by a pro.  (Are you one?)  I would love to know how you braided the squared-off "round" loaf (that one looks like the challah loaf pictured in the Il Fornaio Baking Book by Franco Galli).  As for the formula, interesting about the crumb without the oil.  I've tweaked challah now and then, and I have found that substituting whole grain spelt flour for about 20% of the bread flour adds a lot of flavor and color.  But I still use the conventional amount of oil (just under 1/3 cup for a formula using 18 oz. of flour, along with 6 TBSP of honey as sweetener plus eggs, water, yeast and a little salt).   

Joyful

nycbaker11's picture
nycbaker11

Thank you , but I'm just a weekend occasional home baker .  The round shape instructions is a 4 strand that can be found easily on the web, it's a criss cross tic tac toe like setup that goes clock wise, than counter clock wise and than all remaining ends get pinched together and than flipped around and there you have it. ( I know this is a very quick explanation but you need to see it on youtube and follow it correctly).  I"m always tinkering with the recipe just to see what each ingredient does but here goes my "water" based Basic Challah recipe.

40 oz. flour ( usually a 65% BF/35% AP flour) , I have found this to make a lighter/fluffier dough.

3 cups water

3/4 TBSP instant yeast

1 TBSP salt

1/4 cup sugar (more or less, depends on how sweet you like)

1/3 cup veg. oil

1 egg ( on my next bake, I will omit this and see what happens but I"m pretty sure, not much)

 

In large bowl mix flours, salt, sugar and yeast.  make well in center and add water 2 cups at first with oil and start to incorporate all ingredients, mix for 1 minture with hand or spatula, and than add third cup of water.   let dough rest 15 min covered in bowl than turn out onto a DRY COUNTER, NO OIL, NO FLOUR, and I beging to slap and fold french kneading style for 10-12 minutes (check for windowpane) and than bulk ferment till it doubles any where from 90-120 min.   Here you can retard the dough in fridge till next morning or just beging your shaping.  Egg glaze is 2 yolks, 1 full egg and a drop of water, I usually go over each loaf twice and than add your favorite toppings, sesame seed, poppy seed, or my favorite, KAF artisan bread topping that consists of 5-6 different seeds.

Let shaped loaves rise until double 45-60 minutes and bake in your preheated oven for 40-45 min. @ 350 deg.

good luck and let us know how they turn out.

Ray

nycbaker11's picture
nycbaker11

Joy, 

Take a look at this site for braiding instructions.

http://www.thechallahblog.com/2011/09/rosh-hashanah-test-kitchen-braided.html

Ray

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Thanks, Ray, for all the information.  So many recipes so little time!  I'll look for the recipe a friend sent me that doesn't have any eggs; it does, however, use seltzer water instead of plain (he's from NYC originally, now here in the SF Bay Area)--and I'll post it for you.  And thanks for the braiding site.  I have made that round woven challah, but it never looked as beautiful as the one in your photo.  Perhaps I make the strands thinner, which would make a difference.  And I did flip it over.  (Maybe I shouldn't.)  Don't know if I have a picture of that, but I'll check it out.  Also, looks like you're hand kneading; I haven't done that in such a long time and will have to give it a try with the autolyse and overnight retarding.  I generally retard challah dough overnight, but I do the autolyse only for the hearth breads,.  So why not for challah?

Thanks again, Ray!

Joy

nycbaker11's picture
nycbaker11

Please do forward me that recipe , it sounds interesting.

Thank you, 

Ray

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Born in Bklyn, lived there 'til age 8!  "It's the water!"

J.