September 18, 2014 - 12:29pm
Challah Dough Consistency - Impact On Texture of Baked Challah
I am getting into challah, and most of the recipes I see say to knead until tacky. My research reveals kneaded dough can fit into 3 general categories:
dry - dry to touch.
tacky - dough sticks to hand but releases when pull hand away.
sticky - some dough sticks to hand after pulling hand away.
I understand the definitions. My question is what is the result in the texture of the finished challah if the dough is dry, versus tacky, versus sticky? Thanks.
A mostly accurate generalization would be that, the dryer the dough the denser the finished product.
Hi, this isn't related to tackiness vs. firm, but just on kneading in general. I just bought "Breaking Breads" by Uri Scheft and he perfectly describes the texture of a good challah: "When you break into a loaf of challah, it should pull apart almost like cotton candy coming off the paper cone. There is a soft and tender threadlike quality to the crumb of a well-kneaded challah. It is layered with sheets of tender gluten, so it can be almost unraveled rather than broken apart like a loaf of sandwich bread. There are three ways to achieve this: 1. Underknead.... with most dough, you want to be able to stretch a small corner to a thin sheet without it tearing (this is called the windowpane test). With challah, you don't want the gluten to get that strong--so knead only as instructed. 2. Underproof. Slightly underproof the challah, meaning that when you press a finger into the rising dough, the depression that's left fills in about halfway... 3. Use high heat to seal in moisture... You don't want challah to have a hearty, thick, and crisp crust--you just want the crust to be substantial enough to lock in the moisture during baking but soft enough to easily rip by hand when eating."