Saturday, March 1, 2014

BAKING CHALLAH..........

Daughter called a few weekends ago
and They were having a
Saturday of Making Soup and Baking
Bread...
Challah bread to be exact and interested in how they
were going to make soup and have bread ready all at the
same time she told me how easy the bread was to make...
I was fascinated that it had an extremely short rise time...
For years I shied away from bread baking because I
thought it took hours and hours of kneading and
rising...and kneading and rising...
An all day process.....
So I went online and found something called
"EASY CHALLAH BREAD"
a bit different then daughter's version....I liked the
ingredients....and it made just one loaf...
with a Total prep time to
assemble the dough of about 15 minutes....
And a total rise time of about an hour....
I figured I would give it a try...
I had just come off an all day bread baking class at
the Viking School and for all the work we did and the time
it took I was a bit disappointed how quickly the bread went bust...
This recipe sounded way easier....
It came out of the oven looking very professional....
I added a good handful of golden raisins and a healthy
dose of egg wash to give it that great shine....
It's something I will make often to eat Hot out of the Oven...
I am even thinking of using the dough recipe and
adding the ingredients to make
Hot Cross Buns for Easter.....
The next day it makes for great French Toast too!!
Here is the Recipe....
So easy...
So Good...
and if you leave out the raisins it would make
fabulous Grilled Cheese....
Give it a try...
No special equipment needed....

INGREDIENTS

1 PACKAGE OF ACTIVE DRY YEAST
1 CUP OF WARM WATER (100 DEGREES)
2 TABLESPOONS OF HONEY
1 TEASPOON OF SALT
3 BEATEN EGGS
3 1/2 CUPS OF ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
MORE FLOUR FOR KNEADING
1 BEATEN EGG YOLK
OR 
1 TABLESPOON OF MELTED BUTTER FOR
A SOFTER CRUST.

DIRECTIONS....

1.) IN A LARGE BOWL, STIR THE YEAST INTO THE WATER AND LET STAND UNTIL A CREAMY LAYER FORMS ON TOP...ABOUT TEN MINUTES.
STIR IN THE HONEY AND SALT UNTIL DISSOLVED, THEN ADD THE BEATEN EGGS. MIX IN THE FLOUR, A CUPFUL AT A TIME, UNTIL THE DOUGH IS STICKY. SPRINKLE THE DOUGH WITH FLOUR AND KNEAD UNTIL SMOOTH AND ELASTIC...ABOUT 5 MINUTES...
I USED MY KITCHEN AID WITH THE DOUGH HOOK TO MIX THE DOUGH BEFORE KNEADING...

2.)FORM THE DOUGH INTO A COMPACT ROUND SHAPE, AND PLACE IN AN OILED BOWL. TURN THE DOUGH OVER SEVERAL TIMES IN THE BOWL TO OIL THE SURFACE OF THE DOUGH. COVER THE BOWL WITH A DAMP CLOTH AND LET RISE IN A WARM AREA UNTIL DOUBLED IN SIZE...ABOUT 1 HOUR.
I USED A HEAVY DISH TOWEL OVER THE DAMP TOWEL TO KEEP OUT ANY DRAFTS...

3.)PUNCH DOWN THE DOUGH AND CUT INTO 3 EQUAL PIECES. WORKING ON A FLOURED SURFACE ROLL THE SMALL DOUGH PIECES INTO ROPES ABOUT THE THICKNESS OF YOUR THUMB AND ABOUT 12 INCHES LONG. THE ROPES SHOULD BE FATTER IN THE MIDDLE AND THINNER AT THE ENDS. PINCH 3 ROPES TOGETHER AT THE TOP AND BRAID THEM. NOT LOOSELY...I BRAID JUST LIKE YOUR BRAIDING HAIR. TIGHTLY SO YOU GET A LOT OF BRAIDING. 
PINCH THE ENDS TOGETHER AND FOLD THEM UNDERNEATH FOR A NEAT LOOK. USE YOUR HANDS TO MAKE THE LOAF COMPACT.

4.) PLACE THE BRAIDED LOAF ON A  BAKING SHEET LINED WITH PARCHMENT PAPER AND BRUSH THE TOP WITH THE BEATEN EGG YOLK...FOR A SOFTER CRUST YOU CAN BRUSH WITH THE MELTED BUTTER INSTEAD I USE THE EGG WASH AND IT COMES PERFECT.
5.) PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES  6.) BAKE THE CHALLAH IN THE PREHEATED OVEN UNTIL THE TOP BROWNS TO A RICH GOLDEN COLOR AND THE LOAF SOUNDS HOLLOW WHEN TAPPED...ABOUT 30-35 MINUTES, COOL ON A RACK BEFORE SLICING

I ADDED ABOUT A CUP OF GOLDEN RAISINS THAT I SOAKED FIRST IN VERY HOT WATER...I DRAINED THEM AND LIGHTLY FLOURED THEM BEFORE ADDING THEM TO THE DOUGH WHILE IT WAS BEING MIXED IN THE KITCHEN AID.

I LOVE HOT CROSS BUNS AND THIS BREAD HAS THE SAME TASTE SO I WILL TRY ADDING CANDIED FRUIT AND RAISINS AND MAKE THEM BUN SIZE WITH 
THAT CRISS CROSS OF POWDERED SUGAR ICING ON TOP
THE NEXT TIME I BAKE.....I WILL LET YOU KNOW HOW THEY COME...

THIS RECIPE IS SO SIMPLE AND YOU'LL FEEL LIKE A
PROFESSIONAL BAKER WHEN YOU SEE THE RESULTS....
HAVE FUN AND TRY IT!!





8 comments:

Salmagundi said...

That's a beautiful hunk of bread! I could dive right in and eat the whole thing!!! Sorry about your heat bill -- ours usually is around $100. I'll try to keep the cold and snow here, but it has a mind of its own. Lovely snow here today. I'm happy. Sally

NanaDiana said...

That sounds delicious and I am saving the recipe. I have double ovens sitting in my garage waiting for the cabinets to be altered so they will fit- xo Diana

Marigene said...

Nice looking challah, Sue. When I was young I had no patience for breadmaking, now I find it very relaxing.
Have a wonderful week!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

It looks yummy Sue, just like everything you make!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Boy, does this ever look good, Sue!

I am afraid I would eat the whole loaf by myself!

I love hot cross buns, and this sounds like it would be a good fit. Tanks for sharing with us.

I have to laugh. Be careful what you wish for, you may get it! I loved your Downton Party your friend hosted Nd wished I could go to one. 'Well, my good friends had a Downton Dinner. It took me all day to load the pictures, but it was really fun. My battery is dying so I have to post this before it blanks out on me.

xo

Sheila

Cheri said...

Sounds yummy. I'll have to try it when I get home.

Chatty Crone said...

Okay Suzanne. is there any thing you can't do? Beautiful challah bread. I bet it tastes great too!!
Yummy.
sandie

catskillblogger said...

Yum! I'm saving this recipe for sure. My hubby likes making bread, but we have a breadmaker so he'll throw in the ingrediants and let the machine do the work.