Friday, December 22, 2006

Loaf #16, tear apart raisin challah rolls

Again I played with challah bread and all purpose flour, this time adding raisins to the mix to see if it had any effect on the outcome. I've gotten good enough at dividing the bread dough that I just eyeballed it to cut the dough into 8 pieces and put them into a typical loaf pan.

The addition of raisins didn't make up for the fact that all purpose flour has a drier texture than bread flour, not quite as much flavor. But the loaf pan did make for a nice bundle of rolls, perfect for a family dinner or small gift.

A small note. To keep the raisins from mushing and discoloring the bread as much, I keep them in the freezer until right before I add them to the dough. If you don't mind them blending a bit with the dough and discoloring it, then the raisins can be added at room temperature. If you use blueberries it will turn the dough blue unless they are frozen.

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
3 oz raisins (store in freezer)

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 and raisins, 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.