Sunday, August 15, 2010

Reinhart's Challah

Shavua tov! And what a busy week it's shaping up to be. Mind you, it has barely started. This beautiful Sunday morning begins with packing! That's right. This week, I am finally moving out of Neve Daniel and back into SFW. If that werent stressful enough, we have to prepare for the girls' arrival, which is next Monday and we're pressed for time. If that weren't stressful enough, A is getting married next week and this weekend is her Shabbat Kallah, the weekend before she gets married, spent with all her friends. I'm helping to organize it and that means baking for some of it. AHHHH! Where is the time?! If only things were spread out a bit more..... it's good to be busy. Anyway, as I mentioned in one of my last posts, I want to try out different Challah recipes as much as I can. A great place to start is my vast collection of cookbooks. I like knowing that I use them... it sort of excuses buying more. So this past Shabbat, I opted to use Peter Reinhart's recipe from the Bread Baker's Apprentice. I found the recipe, or what I thought was his recipe online, and made it. As it turns out, it was his recipe with two adaptations. The first change was to increase the salt and the second was to preferment some of the flour, something I have never seen done with a challah recipe. I'm not sure how differently it would have come out without the preferment but let me just say, I LOVED THIS CHALLAH! And Im not a fan of egg challah. I couldnt stop eating it! It was not too sweet, just the right texture and overall perfect. I deliberately made the dough firmer than last time, and just like I thought, the braiding was beautiful and the crumb was lovely as well. I double glazed the braids and because of that and the eggs in the dough, the challot had the most beautiful color and sheen. This challah is a keeper. Definitely bookmarking this one. If you decide youre too lazy for the preferment, omit it and just combine all the ingredients together. These Challot have been Yeastspotted!

adapted from Bread Baker's Apprentice

1 cup flour
1 1/3 tsp yeast
1 cup room temperature water

3 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
2 eggs
2 egg yolks

The day before baking, place the flour, yeast and water in a bowl.
Whisk until smooth. Let sit at room temperature for an hour.
Here is how it looked.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. I chilled overnight. This is how my preferment looked.
The next day, place all of the ingredients except the flour in a bowl.
Whisk until smooth.
Add the flour and stir to form a shaggy dough.
Turn out onto your counter,
and knead until a firm, smooth dough forms.
Place in a greased bowl and turn to coat.
Allow to rise until doubled, about 60 minutes, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
Shape your dough, mine made two large loaves and two small rolls.
Allow to proof until doubled. Towards the end of proofing, preheat the oven to 350. Glaze your breads.
Bake until deeply golden. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.


Leah said...

looks great Chavi! one more of your recipes that ill have to try out!

Shabbat Shalom

Anonymous said...

You did a great job braiding! I love that you did a couple of rolls as well as the loaves

hobby baker Kelly said...

Gorgeous loaves - love the braiding!