May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge was pretty twisted – Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to make challah! Using recipes from all over, and tips from “A Taste of Challah,” by Tamar Ansh, she encouraged us to bake beautifully braided breads.
I've made Challah before, but had fun making it again. It was a huge hit with the family, and I practised different braiding techniques. There was so much creativity this round, and I'm looking forward to trying a few different recipes. Following are the pictures of my Challah, and the recipe I used.
3 strand braid:
6 strand braid
3D 6 strand braid
My Adaptation of Peter Reinhart's Challah recipe from the book, The Bread Bakers Apprentice
18 oz unbleached bread flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/3 Tsp instant yeast
2 Tbsp canola oil
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 large egg yolk, slightly beaten
3/4 C + 2 Tbsp room temperature water
1 egg white with a tsp or so of water, whisked until frothy for egg wash
Stir toether the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl of electric mixer. Add liquid ingredients. Mix with paddle attachment until dough forms a ball. Switch to dough hook and mix at medium speed for 6 minutes. I added flour a Tbsp at a time, until the dough barely clung to the bottom of the mixing bowl. Place dough in a large oiled bowl, roll dough in oil and cover bowl wth plastic wrap. I left the dough rise until it was almost doubled in size. Truthfully, the last two times I made the Challah, I forgot about my dough and when I got to it, it had nearly doubled. Degas and knead dough for a couple of minutes. Divide into equal pieces. The recipe calls for three, but you can always divide into six as I did, in order to form. I rolled out my pieces into strands, and then braided.Brush with egg wash, spritz with cooking spray and then cover with plastic wrap. Proof at room temperature until almost doubled again, 60-75 minutes. I preheat the oven at the beginning of the second proofing period. When bread has sufficiently proofed, brush with egg wash again and bake for 20 minutes, rotate the loaf 180 degrees and bake for another 20-45 minutes. The bread should be a golden brown and the temperature in the center shold be 190 degrees farenheight. When done, transfer dough to a rack and cool for at least 1 hour before cutting.