Monday, September 20, 2010

Macrina Bakery's Challah

This Shabbat the High Holy Days culminated in the observance of Yom Kippur. Not only is it a commandment for Jews to fast on this day of atonement and teshuva, but it is a commandment to eat the day before as well. And so, before the fast comes in, Jewish families everywhere sit down to a proper meal. As we were once again going to be in SFM and eating our meal there, I decided to make a single challah to enjoy. I figured that even if we were going to be fasting on Shabbat itself, I might as well make one anyway and of course try a new recipe in the process. :) This week's recipe comes from the Macrina Bakery and Cake Cookbook and isnt it a stunner? The dough was easy to put together and handled beautifully. I let the dough ferment overnight in the fridge and shaped and baked the next morning. The recipe calls for only 2 1/4 cups flour (plus more as needed to make a firm dough, as per my tastes) and so two eggs indeed makes it a bit rich. With three tablespoons of sweetener, it was sweet but not too sweet and it was nice, soft and doughy in the center, just like I like it. The final bread also has the most beautiful color and varnish that I've seen on a bread in recent memory. Overall this challah was YUMMY. As for the shape? It's deceptively simple. You make a three strand braid, elongate it slightly and knot it. Done. Sending this over to Yeastspotting!

adapted from Macrina Bakery

2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp yeast
2 1/4 flour, or more
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup oil
1 tbsp honey
2 eggs plus one for glaze

Place the dry ingredients in a bowl,

and whisk to combine. 

Add all of the wet ingredients,

and blend with your hands to make a shaggy dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead to make a smooth dough. Place in a greased bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.

This is how my dough looked.

Portion the dough into three pieces.

Roll each piece out into a long strand,

and braid.

Knot the braid. This is how it should look. 

Place into a greased pan. Allow to proof until it looks puffy. Towards the end preheat the oven to 350. When it is fully proofed, glaze with an egg wash.
Bake until really golden and a thermometer registers at least 190, about thirty minutes, give or take. Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan and cooling on a rack. 


tinkleflick said...

Do you have any pictures of the "tie the braid into a knot" process? It looks beautiful but totally intimidating! I usually just leave mine as a braid but would like to try the round.

Chavi said...

Somehow this comment went into spam! Sorry for not seeing it until now! I just tied the braid into a knot just as I would if it were a regular strand. Go for it and see how it turns out!