I have always been in love with the look of Challah and decided to try it for myself using a recipe from Baking and Pastry. I ran into some trouble when it came to rolling the dough pieces into logs—it was very, very firm. I would do a dog bone shape with a log and try to extend but it was somewhat resisting and then started to tear as I got longer (it was still pretty thick for challah). I developed the dough to full gluten as described and it passed the window test successfully.
After kneading (DDT was 24C/75F), I formed a boule and allowed the dough to ferment at room temp for 30 mins (25C/77F) and then in the fridge for another 30 min. I then divided the dough, allowed the fat logs to rest for about 20 min after shaping them so that I can roll them out into the strands to braid, and then I ran into difficulty.
I should note that the recipe called for a bulk fermentation until the dough doubled, around 35 min but I didn’t want to risk overfermenting given the ambient temperature and humidity in the hot climate of Barbados.
I made a sponge as described as well. Here is the recipe:
- Sponge (fermented for 20 min, showed good activity):
- bread flour (11.4%, 95g)—the protein content is 11.2%
- yeast (1.4%, 14g)-I had exactly 11g left so that is what I used
- water (11.6%, 95g)
- Final dough:
- Bread flour (88.6%, 723g)
- Water (11.6%, 95g)
- Eggs (22.4%, 184g)
- Egg yolks (5.7%, 43g)
- Vegetable oil (9.2%, 78g)—I used soy since this is freely available in Barbados
- Sugar (10%, 78g)
- Honey (5.7%, 47g)
- Salt (2.1%, 19g)
- Sponge (24.3%, all of the above sponge)
I have no idea why it was so difficult to roll out and began tearing, is that a sign of overworked gluten? The resultant challah that came out had a nice crust and the the crumb was fine (is that how it should be?) and soft. Looking forward to any suggestions or advice.