Thursday, October 6, 2011

Challah Bread

 
Do you know this is my 116th post?  I didn’t even realize I was already over 100.  I was planning on doing a special 100th post but it passed before I even realized.  We’ll what can I do know?  I’ll do a special 150, and then 200 :).  With 3-4 posts a week, it will come quick!


So for my 116th post I give you this Challah Bread.  This absolutely delicious, mouth-watering, and simply beautiful, Challah Bread.  


One day I woke up and was craving to bake bread. I get these craves a lot.  There is something about fresh baked bread that really gets me going.  I had no clue what type of bread I wanted to make.  But I did know that I wanted to try something new, make a bread that I have never made before.  Then suddenly the word Challah came to mind.  I have always wanted to try challah bread for many reasons:
1)   Its braiding technique that creates a stunningly beautiful appearance.
2)   Its eggy taste.
3)   Its soft texture.
4)   It’s versatility to be eaten in many different ways.


The baking process of this bread is pretty normal to other types of yeasted breads.  However, what makes this bread different is the braiding technique.  It takes a little bit of time to understand how to braid the bread correctly.  The actual process is quick, however, when you are learning the correct technique it definitely takes longer.  I suggest reading over the braiding directions multiple times before starting.  Then take your time and follow the directions exactly.  At the beginning the process takes getting used to, but then it turns into a repeating process that makes it easier to understand.  Don’t get frustrated, you will get it!  


In the instructions below I included a step-by-step process of how to braid the challah.  I created a picture chart that should make the process easier.  I have also tried to make the directions as clear and easy as possible.


Now onto how much we enjoyed this bread.  It was absolutely incredible!  It tasted better than it looked!  And I think it looked great :).  I baked the bread while my husband was out for the day.  When he came home and saw the bread on the kitchen counter he was shocked.  He thought it was absolutely beautiful!  And then I gave him a slice and he liked it even more.  He told me, “This is the best bread I have ever had!  Seriously Krissy… Amazing.”  He continued to tell this to me this every time he had a piece and told every one the same the same thing.  And you know what… I agree with my husband.  This is the best bread I have ever made.  It’s a strong statement, but it’s true.  At least for now :).


The best part about this bread is that you can eat it in so many ways. You can eat is at room temperature just by itself, toasted with butter, as a sandwich, a grilled cheese, French toast.  Really anything!  It would even be great as hamburger buns.  That is next!


Enjoy this stunning and delicious Challah Bread!




Challah Bread
For Printable Recipe, Click here!
 
Makes: 1 loaf

¾ cup Water, Warm
1 tbsp. Sugar, plus ¼ cup Sugar
1 package Active Dry Yeast
¼ cup Olive Oil
3 Eggs, Divided
¾ tbsp. Salt
4 ½ cups All Purpose Flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water and 1 tablespoon of sugar.  Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand for 5 minutes.  Whisk in the oil, and then whisk in 2 eggs, one at a time.  Add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and the salt, and whisk to combine.  With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour, ½ cup at a time. 

Once the dough starts to come together, start kneading the dough.  You can do this in the mixer with the dough hook, or you can knead it by hand on a floured surface.  The dough is done kneading when it is smooth and elastic. 

Form the dough into a ball and place it a large bowl lightly greased with olive oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place to rise for 2 hours.

Divide the dough into 6 balls, and then roll each ball into a long 12-inch strand.  You are now ready to brain the dough. 


1)   Begin by placing the 6 strands in a row, side-by-side, parallel to each other. 
2)   Pinch the tops of the dough strands together
3)   Move the very right strand (#6) over all the way up the left, over strand #1.
4)   Move the very left strand (#1) over strand #6 and up the right.  You now have 4 strands on the bottom, we will call them legs, and 2 strands up on the top, we will call them arms.  Separate the 4 bottom legs, leaving space in the middle (between #3 and #4)
5)   Move the upper left strand (#6) down into the middle of the legs, between #3 and #4.
6)   Move the very right bottom leg (#5) up and to the very left, over arm #1.
7)   Move the upper right arm (#1) down into the middle of the legs, between #2 and #3.
Continue repeating the process by moving the left outer leg and moving it up to the right, creating the right arm.  Move the right leg up to the left, creating the left arm.  Next move the right arm in the middle of the 4 legs.

Continue breading by repeating the process and alternating:
- Left leg up to become right arm, left arm down to center.
- Right leg up to become right arm, right arm down to center.

When done braiding, pinch the bottom pieces together.  Carefully transfer the braided bread to a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.  Beat the remaining egg and brush half of it over the entire surface of the bread.

Let the loaf sit out in a warm place for 1 hour.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Once the loaf it done rising again, brush the rest of the egg wash over the loaf.  Bake the loaf until dark golden brown.

Allow the loaf to cool until warm or room temperature. Enjoy :)!

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.  Braiding technique from Tova Industries.    

12 comments:

  1. Wow! Yum. I wish I didn't have a gluten allergy because this bread looks utterly scrumptious! Amazing, Krissy!

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  2. aww bummer sorry you missed your 100th post!I actually just celebrated mine, our bloggies are pretty close :)

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  3. @mybeautifuldisasters

    How cool! I was sad I missed the 100th post, but it will make the next 100 even better :)

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  4. Looks awesome Krissy!

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  5. Divno izgleda ovo pecivo mila :)))

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  6. Thank you for the wonderful comments :)!

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  7. Thank you for the very detailed instructions!

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  8. @Kel
    Of course! I wanted to make it as easy as possible :)

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  9. I just made mine. I finally made an edible challah! I am so freaking happy

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  10. actually it is really cool but in the pictures when you slice the challah you just are not suposed to do that. you are suposed to just rip of a piece

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