This is the next bread in line for the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge.
I haven’t had challah before, nor have I ever seen it. I knew that it was a Jewish traditional bread and a favourite of some Jewish friends, and I knew it was usually braided. And that’s the extent of my knowledge about it.
Was I looking forward to making challah? Sure, why not? Life’s an experiment, after all. And it would be an interesting experiment with me braiding bread dough. I suck at braiding my own hair, so how well can a dough braid turn out?
As it turns out, better than I expected.
As usual, I substituted the yeast with my wild yeast starter (sourdough starter that isn’t sour, Houdini by name) and reduced the flour and water amounts appropriately. I also converted the recipe to grams and halved it. Here’s the resulting ingredients list:
- 80 grams sourdough starter (100% hydration)
- 60 – 88 grams (3 1/2 – 4 1/2 ounces) water, at room temperature
- 28 grams (1 tablespoon or 0.5 ounce) vegetable oil
- 1 large (47 grams or 1.65 ounces) eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 large (0.625 ounces) egg yolk, slightly beaten
- 270 grams unbleached bread flour (215 grams (9 ounces) from the recipe + 55 grams flour added during kneading
- 14 grams (1 tablespoon or 1/2 ounce) granulated sugar
- 3.5 grams (1/2 teaspoon or 0.25 ounce) salt
- 1 egg whites, whisked until frothy, for egg wash
- Sesame or poppy seeds for garnish
And then I followed the directions from there. Of course, my wild yeast starter was refreshed before using and was happily active and bubbling.
The end result was a braided bread that looked far better than I had ever expected, given how bad I am at braiding my own hair. The bread itself was soft, only slightly chewy, and had a fantastic texture. Solid enough for sandwich or bun bread, but not at all heavy.
Fahim loved it, too. 🙂 This is now one of our top three breads. 🙂
In fact, this will likely be the bread dough recipe I use to make things like, oh, sub buns, hoagie buns, hamburger buns, and so on. It’s perfect!
I’m also submitting this post to Yeastspotting, a weekly showcase of truly drool-worthy breads. In addition to this being part of Sourdough Saturday here on my blog. 😀
[pg-image src=”http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090619-00.jpg” link=”http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090619-00.jpg.html” caption=”challah bread dough, after mixing” alt=””] [pg-image src=”http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090619-01.jpg” link=”http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090619-01.jpg.html” caption=”challah bread dough, after mixing, side view” alt=””] [pg-image src=”http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090619-02.jpg” link=”http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090619-02.jpg.html” caption=”challah bread dough, after first rise” alt=””] [pg-image src=”http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090619-03.jpg” link=”http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090619-03.jpg.html” caption=”challah bread dough, after first rise, side view” alt=””] [pg-image src=”http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090619-04.jpg” link=”http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090619-04.jpg.html” caption=”challah bread dough, after second rise, side view” alt=””] [pg-image src=”http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090619-05.jpg” link=”http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090619-05.jpg.html” caption=”challah bread dough, after second rise, top view” alt=””] [pg-image src=”http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090619-06.jpg” link=”http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090619-06.jpg.html” caption=”challah bread dough, after braiding” alt=””] [pg-image src=”http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090619-11.jpg” link=”http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090619-11.jpg.html” caption=”challah bread dough, after third rise” alt=””] [pg-image src=”http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090619-12.jpg” link=”http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090619-12.jpg.html” caption=”challah bread dough, after applying egg wash and sprinkling sesame seeds on top” alt=””] [pg-image src=”http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090619-14.jpg” link=”http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090619-14.jpg.html” caption=”challah bread dough, fresh out of the oven” alt=””]