Challah

I have a really cheesy joke that I’m going to refrain from saying involving a crappy Gwen Stefani song.  I’m sure you can guess what it is.

Instead, I’ll just tell you about this creation.

I’m not really a bread baker.  I don’t really have the patience to wait for dough to rise numerous times.  But yesterday seemed to be that day.  Challah won me over.   I want to try bread making again.

Challah

from Cooking Bread

1/2 cup warm water
1 egg
1 egg yolk (reserve white for egg wash)
1 tbsp oil
1 1/2 tbsp honey
2 1/4 cup bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp yeast
tbsp of milk + egg white for egg wash

Combine water, eggs oil and honey.  Once they’re all whisked well together, add 1 cup of flour, yeast and salt and beat together.  Let it sit for 15 minutes.  After it has sat for 15 minutes, add the rest of the flour, 1/4 cup at a time.  Once you’ve mixed it as much as possible.  Turn it onto a surface and finish incorporating the flour.  Knead for 10 minutes until dough is soft and elastic.

Put dough in a greased bowl.  Place in a warm spot for about an hour to an hour and a half (I turn the oven on for 2 minutes just to warm it up, then put the dough in there).    Once the dough has risen, divide into 3 equal sized pieces.  Roll into long pieces and braid.  (For step by step photos click here).  Once braided, allow to rise another hour or so.

Brush with egg wash and bake at 400F for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350F and bake for another 15 minutes.

I was a little concerned before making this.  The braiding part seemed particularly intimidating but it was surprisingly easy.  I would definitely say it’s worth a try.

Not to mention fresh challah with dijon mustard, asiago, sliced artichoke hearts and spinach is a wonderful combination.

4th of July is this weekend!  Any plans?

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