The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Challah - Looking for related ideas

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Challah - Looking for related ideas

I got lucky! Having never eaten or baked Challah before my first attempt aided by Eva of bake-street.com was a surprising success. Her instructions were thorough and well documented.

I would like to hear from other Challah bakers about their favorite formulas, methods, or anything else Challah related. It lends itself to such an array of artistic design, which is super nice, especially during the Holidays.

Some of you may know that I’ve been hot and heavy on Lievito Madre. This formula gave me an opportunity to try it out. I’m pretty sure this bread would also work with a typical SD starter.

 

History tells us that the 12 balls on top of this bread signifies the 12 tribes of Israel.     ...a little trivia

Here comes the money shot. This professional model doesn’t come cheap, but she gave me a huge discount because I was her grandpa :-)

Wishing everyone, in all parts of the world a happy Thanksgiving Day! Even if you don’t live in America, we all have so much to be thankful for...

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

That looks amazing. Very neat braiding! And your granddaughter is beautiful :)

I tried foodgeek's challah recipe once. The process and instructions were good for a beginner challah baker, and it's sourdough (he makes a stiff levain for this dough, btw). Although I think I used a more interesting braiding than he suggested... I was quite new to baking, so it was probably me, but in the end I thought the texture could be better, and mine lost the definition of the braid a little.

kendalm's picture
kendalm

That is unreal Dan.  And huge - what an ambitious and successful first try.  I never baked one but now I am thinking about giving it a shot. 

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow Dan, that is extremely impressive challah and even more impressive that it was your first go!!  I’ve been meaning to bake a challah but just haven’t gotten around to it yet.  Seeing your gorgeous challah is motivating me to make one sooner than later.  

Your granddaughter is one cutie pie.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating this week, please stay safe everyone.

Benny

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Thanks, all. If anyone wants to try to formula, it can be seen HERE.

I am in the process of attempting to duplicate the first bake <fingers crossed>. But guess what? By mistake I added twice the amount of honey. Hopefully that works out for the best. I made the decision this time to use SAF Gold (for the sugar in the honey). This dough uses both SD and a small percentage of CY. The percentage was actually reduced to 0.35% this round. The dough requires a lot of slow speed mixing to develop the dough and at the same time not generate too much heat. I put the mixing bowl in the fridge twice during the kneading process to be on the safe side. I’ll post that bake here once it is baked and sliced.

If anyone chooses to bake this formula or any other Challah, please let me know how things went. I want to perfect this style of bread and welcome any input.

 

isand66's picture
isand66

You did a fantastic job.  I’m going to try and join in the fun soon and will report back with my version.

Anon2's picture
Anon2 (not verified)

First try and it's perfect. That is fit for the Shabbat table. And if there's any leftover after Shabbat it makes the perfect French Toast. 

And of course Challah is a sure favourite for children to help bake. Indeed they often bake some challah knots in school to bring home for Shabbat. 

Another thing you could try is the pull apart challah where small pieces of individual doughs are baked close together in a round pan so they rise and stick together just enough that you're able to pull them apart. 

Maggie Glezer has a famous recipe and a sourdough version too. Here is an old TFL blog where the original poster really did it justice.

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

Lovely loaf. Makes me want to try it out myself. Thanks for sharing!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

She's proud of her Grandpa too!    Happy Thanksgiving!

Mini

Alan.H's picture
Alan.H

Challah has been on my "must try" list for so long I'd forgotten it was there. Thanks for reminding me with such a beautiful and tempting loaf.

Now as soon as I have perfected that ciabatta I will definitely....................................

alfanso's picture
alfanso

And as I mentioned to you, this is an amazing looking bread.  So...this is how you keep yourself busy in retirement.  Who knew?

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

No one will upbraid you for that one. Now how about a braided ponytail for your charming granddaughter.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I bake the formula again. Definitely not a fluke. Even managed to accidentally double the honey (mistake). The extra honey made the dough handle a little differently, but the flavor didn’t reflect the extra honey. Won’t do that again, don’t need the extra calories that my taste buds can’t discern :-)

The first dough that was measured properly was easier to handle. It is also possible the additional sugars (honey) affected the fermentation. The dough grew enormously and the balls had a hard time staying in the saddle.

Sliced of Challah makes excellent French Toast, aka Pain Perdue, aka Lost Bread. It is a real breakfast treat.

 

Benito's picture
Benito

You’re a challah prodigy Dan, two incredible bakes right off the top.  I love challah and need to try baking one, so many things on my list of things to bake.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Benny

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

How many strands are you playing with?  Two or three?  Is it a three strand braid or a two strand before you place a  strand of balls on the "saddle" or top of the braid?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Mini, the bread is braided with 5 strands plus an extra strand is used for the 12 balls that sit on top. 6 strands in all.

Take a look at Eva’s video for great instructions.
https://bake-street.com/en/sourdough-challah-bread/

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

:)

isand66's picture
isand66
isand66's picture
isand66

I overproofed this one and cut the oil down which was a mistake.  I used about 20% fresh ground whole wheat.  My braiding is not my strong point 😬.  Color was not good either.  I’ve made challah several times and this was not one of my better ones.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Ian, your image shows me a great idea. I like the poppy seeds on the side and seasame seeds on the top. The color variance makes a dramatic look.

You said it over proofed. Did you use CY?

isand66's picture
isand66

Actually it’s white poppy seeds but sesame would work fine.  100% SD in this one.  I’ll post the formula later tonight for those interested.