Another weekend, another challah. I spent this weekend at my sister's in Neve Daniel. It was so nice to spend a relaxing weekend away from work with her and family. Not to mention how cute my niece is.... Anyways, I asked what I could bake and she requested biscotti, as she had a craving, but more on that later. I also offered to bake challot, for reasons that readers of this blog know about already. (Anyone getting sick of seeing challot on the blog?! Don't answer that...) The recipe I chose this week is from the King Arthur Baker's Companion, my well loved and often used go-to baking book. I hadn't planned on using the recipe from here but stumbled upon it when I was looking for biscotti recipes and I figured, why not? This is the second recipe that I have seen thus far that uses a sponge. Let me say, this is quite untraditional. Normally, everything goes into a bowl at once. The sponge ferments for about forty five minutes, so really it was not a big deal at all. After that, everything goes into the bowl. The dough was a pleasure to knead and rose nicely also. It braided nicely as well and aside for my too tight braiding, the loaves were beautiful. I had never before used an egg white glaze but it works pretty well, although the result is more matte than with an egg yolk finish. As for the challot themselves, I really liked them. Alot. For an egg challah, they were not overly eggy at all and although there was more sugar than Im used to for this amount of flour, it wasnt too sweet either. It also had a nice doughy flavor that I havent had in a while. The texture was terrific, nice and fluffy and oh so delicious. It seems that I'm becoming an egg challah convert..... The recipe indicates that this makes one loaf, which would be quite large. I made one large six stranded loaf and one smaller three stranded loaf. Braid as you please! And check out this week's Yeastspotting!
from King Arthur Flour's Baker's Companion
1 cup flour
1 cup water
2 tsp instant yeast
3 1/2 cups flour, or more as needed
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1 egg white
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp water
Place the sponge ingredients in a bowl.
Whisk until smooth. Allow to ferment for 45 minutes.
This is my fermented sponge.
and stir to make a shaggy dough, adding more flour as needed. Allow to rest for about twenty minutes.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead the dough until it is smooth and supple and uniform. Place into a greased bowl.
Scale and shape the breads. Set on a parchment lined baking sheet and allow to proof until doubled. Preheat the oven to 350.
Combine the egg wash ingredients and glaze the breads.
Bake until golden brown and delicious and a thermometer registers 190. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.