Friday( but really Wednesday night )challah....
I have a confession to make. I've never made a challah before. Shocking I know, especially since I'm Jewish. I never really had to make it myself because growing up in Florida and then California, it was just too easy to go to the Jewish deli and pick one up. I even schlepped one back from Florida in my suitcase a few months ago.
I recently bought A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking by Marcy Goldman,a Canadian pastry chef who happens to write for the U.S. and Canada.
I am IN LOVE with this book. I want to make absolutely everything. I love it so much, I even bought one for my mom for Mother's Day. Anyway, I thought since I've never made challah before, I'd start with Marcy's recipe for Friday Night Challah. This recipe uses the bread machine to make the dough, but you bake it in the oven.
It was really easy, the hardest part was rolling out the strands and braiding it. I attempted a 4 strand braid, but that didnt work out so well. After this cooled, I tasted a piece and knew immediately I had to make french toast( aka pain perdu) for dinner tonight.
Friday Night Bread Macine Challah
1 1/4 c. warm water
1/3 c. plus a pinch of sugar
4 teaspoons dry yeast
2 eggs plus 1 yolk
2 tbl honey
1/3 cup veg. oil
approx 6 cups bread flour( I used Gold Medal that I bought in Michigan and I only needed 5 1/2 cups)
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 egg plus 1 yolk( I just used the white with a bit of half and half since I wasnt using this for sabath)
sasame or poppy seeds( optional)
In the bread machine, place the water and the pinch of sugar. Add the yeast. When the yeast starts to bubble, add the remaining sugar, eggs, yolk, honey and oil. Mix in 1 cup flour. Then add the salt and most of the remaining flour. Put the machine on the dough cycle. Watch to see if it forms a ball, if not, use a spatula to help it along. If the dough seems too wet, add a few tbls of flour.( I didnt need to). When the cycle is finished, remove the dough and divide into 3 sections for large loaf or 6 for 2 medium loaves. Roll into strands and braid together. Brush with egg
wash and sprinkle with seeds. Place the entire sheet pan with the two loaves into a large plastic bag and let rise again for 30-40 min. Brush again with eggwash and sprinkle with seeds. Preheat oven to 375f, reduce temp to 350 and bake for 30-35 min, until the crust is nicely browned.