Saturday, October 1, 2011

A new Challah recipe,

This came out so good! There really is bread-making-life after the bread machine.  ;-P  Heavy and cakey and stringy and sweet...with just enough bread texture to keep it out of official cake status. While you certainly don't have to use wheat flour (otherwise known as "that disgusting brown flour" by one 17 year old boy...), I have come to realize that using at least a 70/30 ratio of regular flour/wheat flour is what helps give Challah that desired density that is definitely a requirement for me. :)

Challah Recipe

1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup warm water
1 package yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
4 cups white flour (you may need to add up to a cup or more to get a good consistency)
3 cups wheat flour

My first round of directions:
Place ingredients into the bread machine pan as directed by your machine manufacturer. Select "dough" option, push start, go to the store. Come home to find bread machine ON THE FLOOR, cracked, broken in pieces--fall to the floor, grow speechless, then mumble incoherently about how-what-who-why-whathappened-whodidit-why-how...***note: if you use your machine, do not go to the store with it on, with your brother and son (that was getting tired of all the wheat bread recipes....hmmmmmmmmmmm), both of them only saying that it EXPLODED, or fell, or both, and both of them trying to stifle laughs....

Okay, so the dough actually, thankfully, had at least been kneaded for about 10 minutes before the fall, so I could continue from there. Your dough should be smooth, somewhat elastic, not sticky at all, and if when pressed the indentation bounces back.

Put about 2 tbsp oil into a bowl, and place dough into the bowl. Turn the dough over in the bowl to coat with oil. Cover the bowl (with a damp towel, or with loosely placed oil coated plastic wrap) in a warm location. (a tip I read years ago-- when you start mixing the dough, set your oven to its lowest temperature, usually 175 degrees F, for about 5-10minutes, then turn off, creating a warm location if you don't have one) Let the dough rise to at double its size, about an hour depending on the type of yeast you used. Punch the dough down, then let it double again.

At this point, shape the Challah however you'd like. For this recipe I made a round (sort of lol) shape for Rosh Hashanah. Brush your loaf with yolk, then place in a preheated 350 degree F oven.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes--the Challah should sound hollow when "thumped". Most bread recipes say "when thumped on the bottom," honestly I almost always do the "thumping" on top, because really, it's kind of hard to check the bottom of a loaf of bread, especially when it is in a bread pan or some other kind of shaped pan. I'll leave your thumping to your own personal discretion.  ;)

While the picture doesn't show it well, this had a nice golden color. I did have to place a small piece of foil on the very top, about halfway through baking, to keep it from burning.

Later, I'll add the continuation--Challah French Toast we had this morning. Here's a picture to keep you going:
It was so dense, and sweet, and gooey-barely any syrup needed!

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