Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Slow Rise Whole Wheat Challah

It's been awhile since I posted about my latest challah exploits hasn't it? Yes, I know. But I assure you, it's not for lack of challah baking. Trust me, I've been baking weekly and developing my own recipes for loaves. I just haven't posted out of fear of boring all y'all. Is that even possible? In any case, I stumbled on this Slow Rise Whole Wheat Challah from A Blessing of Bread and decided, why not? What's unusual about this challah is that it features a starter, little yeast, long rising times, little sweetener but these things intrigued me nonetheless. It is also mostly whole wheat which made me a bit nervous as I know my father can be a little biased about his breads. This challah was a pleasure to make and although I don't think it'll be gracing the weekly table, I'm glad I tried it anyway. The starter was quick to pull together the night before and it rose wonderfully. I'm not going to lie; it was necessary for me to add a little yeast to the final dough to speed up the fermentation as Shabbat has started to come in really early and I was afraid it wouldn't be completed in time. I did add very little though so I don't think the effect was lost here. I let it slow rise in the oven with just the light oven and waddya know, the little yeast puffed right along and raised my dough. Although Ms. Glezer offers a recipe for a starch glaze, I opted for the usual egg to give it a bit of color and shine. The result was actually pretty good. The first night we had it, the whole wheat flavor was present but not dominant. It was lightly sweet with a really pleasing texture. You could practically taste the slow-rise. By the second day however, the whole wheat flavor became more dominant, which is not a bad thing.. unless you're in the not-a-fan-of-whole-wheat camp. Check out her book for the recipe and an interesting challah experience.

Some lone yeast...
with some water added to the party.

The flour added to the water and yeast..
The starter awaiting some kneading action.The starter nicely kneaded and rounded into a ball.The starter ready for its overnight fermentation, at room temperature.The risen starter.The water and whole wheat flour mixed and hydrating.The starter and the rest of the ingredients added to the hydrating flour and water.Here's the dough fully kneaded- by machine.The nicely slow risen dough.The dough ready for shaping.The shaped loaves, a five braid and a four braid with a roll in the middle, ready to proof.The proofed and egged loaves waiting to be baked.
The finished loaves. Kinda nice, if I do say so myself.


Jude said...

Great braid as usual... I wonder what a starch glaze does. Wouldn't it make the coating dull?

Anonymous said...

I made this challah and found that it tasted more like artisan bread (chewy) than light fluffy challah. I tried the cornstarch glaze. It was an interesting experiment, but I like other challah recipes in her book better, and for whole wheat I am liking the PR ww recipe right now.