Monday, August 30, 2010

Greenstein's Challah

Not surprisingly, with the little I baked for Shabbat, I had plenty of time left in my day and the other madrichot were not back yet from their paper goods shopping. I made a last minute decision to make a batch of challah. This made me happy because I love to make challah and make it whenever I can and whenever I am home for Shabbat and because it allowed me to continue testing recipes in search of a super great one. As is normal for all cookbooks that dont really know about the broad spectrum of challot, this week's recipe is for an eggy challah. It seems that everyone's perception of challah is as an eggy bread. I wont go into it now, but it's not entirely true... In any case, in my ongoing effort to try challah recipes from all of my different cookbooks, this recipe is from George Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker. I made one batch of challah using all purpose flour. The challot had good flavor and good texture, not too eggy and sweet but not too sweet. It had a nice yellow crumb from my bright eggs which I always think is cool. Once again, I neglected to make my dough as firm as I like, I'll have to fix that on my next challah go-round. I think it would result in a better braid definition. From this batch I made three small loaves, with six, four and three strands. This would make an excellent challah for Rosh HaShana with or without the addition of raisins. I'm sending these breads over to Yeastspotting!

1 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp instant yeast
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup plus 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
4-4 1/2 cups bread or all purpose flour
egg for glaze
Place the water, yeast, eggs, oil and sugar in a large bowl.
Whisk to blend.
Begin adding flour... here it is at the batter stage. Keep adding flour until a shaggy dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until a cohesive dough forms.
Place in a greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled in bulk.
Here is the risen dough.
Braid and allow to proof. Preheat the oven to 350.
Once the breads are proofed, glaze the breads and bake.
Bake the breads for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and delicious. Cool on a wire rack.

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