Monday, March 17, 2008

Challah back girl

Well, it's St. Patrick's day! What better way to celebrate than by showing off some Challah bread I made this weekend. ;)

Let's start out with the basics for an enriched dough: flour, water, sugar, salt, yeast, eggs, oil, Betty and the most flour dusted, dough stained page of my Sunset Breads book!

Since reading the Bread Baker's Apprentice, I've changed the way I bake bread. Rather than adding the ingredients in the order listed, I started with the water & yeast and added a few cups of flour, mixing until smooth (starting to work the gluten). Then I added the eggs, oil, sugar, salt, and the (not so) secret ingredient - a dash of curry. I spent plenty of time letting Betty mix it all up. Then put it in an oil coated bowl.
I let it rise in the fridge over night then let it warm up on the counter for about an hour.

It's fair to say that it more than doubled. I also depart from the directions that say to "punch down the dough"... there's no real need. I divide the dough in half (which degases it), let it rest for a few minutes then divide one of the halves into thirds. I rolled that half into ropes & braided it.

I may have made the ropes a bit too long. The braid wouldn't fit on the pizza stone! I let it rise for another hour & a half, then gave it an egg wash & sprinkled with sesame seeds before baking.

Mmmmmm..... Challah!

I actually gave this loaf away, but with the other dough I made just a regular loaf. It's a very yummy sandwich bread!


Trillian42 said...

OMG. That is a gorgeous hunk of challah!!!

I may have to try that at some point - I love the idea of putting a dash of curry in there. Sounds like an interesting flavor.

jovaliquilts said...

Such a GORGEOUS challah! Wow! I have altered the number of strands in the braids and done round ones for holidays, but I have never curved one. It's really beautiful.

Zonda said...

Looks too pretty to eat! Nice job! I kill yeast..sigh..

IrishgirlieKnits said...

Looks delicious!!

Bezzie said...


I like your pokey mark in the risen dough shot. Hee hee!

Magatha said...

What a beautiful loaf! We used to have that for Easter when I were a wee brat, along with some Mogen David wine and turkey. We never had ham for Easter. I always thought it was weird when I learned that ham was a traditional Easter food.

Rebel said...

trillian - the recipe calls for a pinch of saffron, but hello $$$$$$ so I use a dash of curry. You can't really taste it, but it does help give it color

zonda - no such thing in my world!

irish girl - it was =)

bezzie - air bubble... the dough was ever so slightly over risen. ;)

Mags - year I used a similar egg dough to make a basket out of bread. It was a ton of work, but very pretty.

T said...

I can attest to it's numminess because I have eaten quite a bit of it... THANKS for the bread!

Rebel said...

t- I'm glad you liked it =)

Michael5000 said...

Nothing says "Irish-American" like Challah. Top o' the mornin' to ya, mensch.