Thursday, June 17, 2010

BBA: Challah

The sixth bread of the BBA Challenge is challah. I had high hopes for this bread. I love challah and was very excited to learn how to make it myself.
I made the double braided celebration loaf which involves braiding a large loaf and then a smaller loaf and placing the small loaf on top of the larger loaf and baking them together. I was thrilled with my bread. It was gorgeous.
I'm getting more comfortable with bread dough although I still stuggle with that line between sticky and tacky. I should probably knead more with my hands although I often enjoy the simplicity of just using my dough hook on my Kitchenaid.
Check out my first windowpane!!!!
I divided the ball into three equal balls. I then combined two of the balls, so I had one large ball and one small ball. Each ball was divided into three equal balls which resulted in three large balls and three small balls. The three large balls became the large braid and the three small balls became the small braid.
The braiding looked intimidating at first, but I followed the step by step instructions and was pleasantly surprised how easy it was.
Isn't it so pretty?! I must admit I was very impressed with how it looked.
I thought the challah was a bit dry, but I'm not sure if that was just this challah bread or if I overbaked it or overmixed it. I've had "dry" challah before but I've also had "moist" challah. Could the difference simply be when you eat the bread after it's been baked? I baked this bread the day before. It's definitely a bread we'll bake again as it's one of husband's favorites.
 
What to do with leftover challah? It makes an amazing french toast!

3 comments:

  1. I recommend using the dough hook followed by some hand kneading. I could never got the 'feel' of the dough if I just used the dough hook. I wonder if the moistness also has to do with the texture, i.e. slightly dry, not smooth enough. It was delicious, and beautiful. :)

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  2. It looks absolutely beautiful! And hurray for windowpanes! =)

    As a challah-lover from way-back, I was not impressed with this recipe. If you're looking for a more authentic one, try the Joan Nathan one posted on Smitten Kitchen: http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/09/best-challah-egg-bread/ Loved that one!

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  3. This is gorgeous...I don't think I have ever seen a finer one and it is your first??? Talent lies within those fingers, no doubt about it! Love the process photos.

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