Wednesday, February 28, 2007

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

Egg wash
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.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful!!! Yours came out a bit lighter colored than mine on top. I'm guessing it's because you baked yours at 350 degrees and mine called for a 400 degree temp. I loved mine, but I am going to try yours next.

Now go make that challah bread pudding.

6:28 AM, March 01, 2007

Blogger Taylor said...

I just started making challah for Jewish boyfriend. I use the recipe in "Baking with Julia" (Child) and all comes out well.

2:26 PM, March 01, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bread is gorgeous!

7:23 PM, March 06, 2007

Blogger Shaun said...

Randi, love - There is nothing in our recent histories that suggest Eric and I are Jewish, but we love matzoh soup, and I have a special weakness for haroset (and I know it is a symbolic addition to the seder table, but I can't help but make it when it isn't Passover and snack on while watching tv) and challah. Your bread looks amazing, and I'm now tempted to get this (yet another) cookery book - it sounds like a great find.

12:27 AM, March 11, 2007


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