Friday, December 15, 2006

Loaf #14, Challah Recipe 2

While looking at this recipe, I realized that many of the challah bread recipes called for all purpose flour instead of bread flour. So for an experiment I tried this new recipe with all purpose flour. I actually did two loaves, one I made into two long pieces, twisted together and twirled into a bowl. The other is a simple braid, although it's better than the first braid I tried in a loaf pan. I think they key is even pressure on the braid, and to make sure there is even pull all over rather than squishing it into the pan so pressure lets part of the dough push up unevenly.

The main difference between this recipe and the previous challah bread recipe is the use of more egg, and it has less flour and water making a smaller loaf. I used sugar rather than honey because that's what I had on hand. This is also adapted from the book "A Blessing of Bread" by Maggie Glezer.

Challah 2.0
2 teaspoons instant yeast
17 oz all purpose flour
1/4 cup (2 oz) warm water
3 large eggs, plus 1 for glaze
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey or 1/3 cup sugar

Whisk together yest, 1 oz of the flour, and all the warm water until smooth. Let stand uncovered for 10-20 minutes until it begins to ferment and puff up slightly.

Whisk 3 eggs, salt, oil and honey or sugar into yeast slurry. Stir in remaining flour, knead for no more than 5 minutes.

Proof for 2 hours, shape and proof for another 2-3 hours until the loaf triples in size.

Mix the remaining egg with a pinch of salt for glazing. Bake at 325, 15-20 minutes for rolls, two 15 oz loaves for 25-35 minutes, one 1.5 lb loaf for 35-45 minutes.

I found the all purpose flour just didn't give me the same rich taste as the bread flour. My wife referred to it as the "brown and serve roll" flavor, good but not anything special. I prefer the other challah recipe, both for the flavor and the fact that it makes more bread with fewer eggs not that eggs are super expensive but you do go through alot when baking lots of bread.