Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mama's Challah

Another weekend, another Challah recipe. I spent this past Shabbat by my sister in Neve Daniel and she specifically requested that I make challot. Never one to turn down a request to make challot, I pulled out Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters to make their Mama's Challah. Here are my notes on this recipe. I used one kilo and the recipe yielded two giant challot and one nice sized roll. I used 1 tbsp instant yeast instead of two packages of quick rising. I used the three tablespoons of sugar but found it barely sweet so next time would add at least another. Also, I used the one tablespoon of salt called for but would up it by at least another half. The dough really handled beautifully- it kneaded and rolled like a dream. The final breads had amazingly fluffy texture-- a trademark of good kneading and good challah. I omitted the seeds from the top but I think they would add a lot to this recipe.

Mama's Challah
slightly adapted from Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters

8 cups flour
1 tbsp instant yeast
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup oil
2 eggs plus one for glazing

Place the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or your hand until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Allow to rest for ten to fifteen minutes before beginning to knead. Knead the dough until smooth. Place in an oiled bowl and refrigerate overnight. The next morning remove the dough from the fridge.
Scale and shape the dough as desired. For the larger loaves, I did my usual six braid. For the roll, I followed these instructions. Allow the loaves to proof until doubled in size. Beat an egg and glaze the challot with it. Bake until golden brown and a thermometer registers at least 190.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

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