The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Braiding Success!

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kitcar's picture
kitcar

Braiding Success!

I just watched to check in an say thanks to everyone who provided insight and thoughts on my issues with my chala braids "cracking" ( http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/30646/how-prevent-braided-breads-cracking-when-rising ) - I took another stab this week, but made sure to give the bread more proofing time, as well as let it rest about 10 minutes before the braiding itself. All in all, happy with the direction this loaf is heading in! My braids still don't "blend" into each other more than the ones at the bakery though - I wonder if thats a dough formulation thing or still due to technique?

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

a beautiful challah - Shabbat Shalom to all.  My your day of no work be peaceful!

Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

This is one heck of a gorgeous challah.  It is a picture of perfection.  Every challah you will make will look different.  A dough is a living thing and no two braided breads will look alike, even at the Jewish bakery, whichever one you go to.  Just be pleased that you finally found out the technique to make your breads perfect, each one different and perfect in it's own way.  You cannot describe technique.  You figured it out since you did not have someone to teach you one on one.  It has to be shown standing elbow to elbow.  Dough texture can't be described with the spoken or written word.  You need to touch the dough, feel it to understand what is the perfect texture.  I'm still trying to figure it out.  

Hub a gutten Shabbat.

kitcar's picture
kitcar

I agree, even though it make look a little different I prefer my Chala to the local bakeries - there is something to be said about unqiueness is look, and I must say the loaves my local bakery pump out all look like machine made clones :P

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

A lovely challah!  No doubt about that!

The blending of the braids, I think you mean the roundness of the ropes.  Might be hydration of dough or even humidity of the room playing a role.  Letting the roapes rest uncovered a few minutes more before braiding might also dry out the ropes (unless you have high humidity) just a little more and give a tighter skin surface (careful, too much drying will lead to cracks during rising) or use a tiny bit more flour when shaping the ropes. (too much flour and they won't stick to each other)  Slight tweaks that you can play with over time.  Take notes on relative humidity in the room and how you cover the dough during proofing. :) 

kitcar's picture
kitcar

Thanks for the recommendation! It was actually pouring rain outside while I was making this Chala, which makes me think the humidity in the air might have been higher than normal