Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Challah - A Jewish bread

I don't even butter my bread. I consider that cooking.
- Katherine Cebrian
I Love to make bread but the only problem is when it's freshly made at home there is no portion control, it happened earlier also & happened again this time too. It vanishes or 1-2 slices are left. Few weeks back I tried my hands on Challah bread after seeing it on Champa's blog, she has a good collection of baking recipes. Not once but two days in a row I made this bread. First day I tried with all purpose flour & second trial was with whole wheat flour. I divided the recipe into half so that I get only one loaf ,also made little bit of changes, for original recipe click here. Now for the recipe :

What U need:
  1. All purpose flour- 2 cups
  2. Sugar - 2 Tblsp.
  3. Vegetable oil - 2 Tblsp.
  4. Salt - 1 tsp
  5. Egg  - 1
  6. Warm water - Mixed with egg to make 3/4 cup
  7. Active Dry yeast - 1/2 Tblsp.
What to do :
  1. Add enough water to beaten egg so that it make 3/4 cup of liquid in total. Pour it into stand mixer bowl. Sprinkle yeast & sugar on it. Let it sit for 8-10 minutes or till yeast become frothy.
  2. Add salt & oil, attach the dough hook & turn the mixer on at speed 2 & slowly start adding flour, half a cup at a time. Knead it at speed 2 till it turns into smooth dough, took around 6 minutes or so (This process can be done by hand also as suggested in original recipe you need to knead the dough for about 10 minutes or so).
  3. Rub oil in a big bowl & let the dough rest in it, cover the bowl with plastic wrap. In an hour or so dough should be doubled in size but it can take more time also depending upon the temp. in the room/kitchen where the dough is kept. Mine took 1 & half hour this time.
  4. On a lightly floured surface divide the dough into 3 equal parts & roll each part into around 10" long log. Place all the 3 logs side by side.
  5. Wet tips of your one hand fingers with some milk & pinch one end of all the 3 logs together to join them. Dry your hands & make a braid with those 3 logs & again join them at the end, the way we did in the beginning.
  6. Move the braided dough to parchment lined baking sheet. Brush it with milk. Cover loosely with aluminum foil & let it rise for another hour or so.
  7. Toward the end of rising period turn the oven on at 375 degree F for pre-heating. Again brush it with milk before putting it in the oven.
  8. Bake at 375 degree F for first 10 minute. Reduce the temp. to 350 degree F & continue baking for another 20-25 min. or till nicely browned and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
  9. Cool on wire rack.
Note : In my first trial bread got too much browned.
So when I baked it second time the very next day I covered it loosely with foil after first 10 minutes of baking & result was good. Also I kept the oven at 375 instead of 400. It was a whole wheat version......some time taking so many pics can be confusing....forgot to take picture of final result. 

For Whole wheat version I added around 1 & 1/2 Tblsp. of thick home made curd(yogurt) while kneading the dough as whole wheat flour usually needs little extra liquids or u can simply decrease the quantity of flour by 2-3 Tblsp. I'm sending this bread to Champa of  Versatile Vegetarian Kitchen for her weekly Bake-off.

17 comments:

Vrinda said...

Very well baked,one of my fav...

Nitha said...

Perfectly baked bread..

sangeeta said...

Perfect bread...

and yes i agree ... freshly baked bread makes you forget portion control and that you are consuming butter and jam with it too....i have been clicking my recent bread pics but see when i come to post them all.

the way you forgot after baking the bread it happens with me too cuz the smell makes you mad n you just manage to think about some butter....:)

Hamaree Rasoi said...

LOL:-) Really sometimes taking too many photographs can be confusing ... Never mind you have described the recipe well. Bread looks perfect.
BTW how is your little one doing?

Deepa

Hamaree Rasoi

BangaloreBaker said...

The braid is awesome. Thanks for trying it out Spice.

BangaloreBaker said...

You are on time for bake-off. Thanks for this entry. I'll include it in this week's roundup.
For the giveaway, there is no limit. Every time you make one more, you get one more entry. Good luck with it.

Yarny Days said...

Big thumbs up...so says my belly.

G.Pavani said...

looking perfect n yummy

Sushma Mallya said...

Looks perfect..

Prathibha said...

Lovely baked bread..I love freshly made ones...look yumm

Apu said...

Challah looks amazing!!

Spice said...

Thanks everyone.....

@ Sangeeta, nice to see u....it's been a while, waiting to see some post on your blog & if bread is coming I can't wait........U r so right fresh bread & butter, nothing can match that....

Spice said...

@ Deepa, thanks for taking time out...and about little one, she's getting more active(read that as naughty) every single day.....

sowmya's creative saga said...

looks so perfect..

suma said...

This looks great, will this out sometime..

Jay said...

Wow...this is a fab recipe with lovely presentation. Right now am drooling over the new recipes. Beautiful collection u have here.
Do drop in at my space sometime.

Nithu said...

Looks wonderful. Very perfect!!