May 29, 2009

Challah Bread.

Nothing says better" home "then the smell of fresh baked bread. I don't even have to call my boys, the moment the smell reaches them, they come one, by one waiting for whatever I'm baking, to be done.
This particular bread is a cake like bread. It's soft, has a hint of sweetness and can go from the dinner table to the breakfast one without any hesitations. And also looks pretty (and I like pretty things). Could be braided in 4 strings, 3 strings or 2. I chose 3 strings this time.


Also good to be known, challah bread that is used on Sabbath, and holidays in the jewish tradition (by Ashkenazi and most Sephardic jews), but everyone can enjoy it .
I personally found the recipe in a bread baking book and loved it. I like trying new flavors and experience foods from different cultures. The world is so divers and so is the world of food.
Why not enjoy it?


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon mat, set a side.


Ingredients
All-purpose flour 5 cups
Warm water 1 cup (105˚-115˚ F)
Active dry east 5 tsp
Large eggs 3, plus 1 egg beaten for glaze.
Sugar 1/2 cup
Salt 2 tsp
Unsalted butter at room temperature 1/2 cup
Sesame seeds or poppy seeds 1 tbsp (optional)




In large bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes or until foamy.



After 5 minutes stir in ( with a wooden spoon) the sugar, the 3 eggs (I like to lightly beat the eggs makes it easy to stir everything together) 4 1/2 cups of flour (from the 5 cups), the butter and the salt. Stir until the dough comes together (it will be sticky ).
This is how the dough looks.
Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 7-10 minutes adding more flour as needed from the 1/2 cup left over from the total of 5 cups . Use minimal amount of flour, the dough will louse from stickiness by being knitted. I used about 1/2 of the 1/2 cup that was left( about 1/4 cup). When the dough is smooth and elastic place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and place in draft free place to rise for two hours.



After 2 hours the dough is ready. Turn it on a clean surface and punch down (fancy word for gently pressing on the dough to help expel the air)
Divide the dough into three equal parts cutting with a sharp knife. The dough is very soft so handle with care.
Starting from the middle roll gently each part into a rope about the length of the baking pan.
To braid the bread. Pinch together the ends in one side, then very gently cross the rope closer to you over the middle one, then the one further from you over the one you just crossed. Now repeat until you get at the end. Pinch the 3 ropes together and tuck under.
Very careful lift the bread and place it on the baking sheet . Cover with a clean towel let rise for a further 45 to 60 minutes, until almost doubled in size.
Now the bread is ready for the glaze and to be sprinkled with the seeds (if used).
Bake in a preheated oven of 350˚ F for 30 to 35 minutes. The bread is ready when is golden brown and sounds hallow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack. Cut after is completely cool, if you can wait that long.



Bread on Foodista

6 comments:

janet said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. Your challah looks gorgeous!!

Laura said...

It's my pleasure Janet, and the challah tastes delicious.

shizuokagourmet said...

Sorry, dear Laura!
I didn't read your answer in your last posting!
Now, I know that you are Rumanian!
My departed mother knew the old Rumanian anthem by heart! But that was how far her Rumanian went!
Now, My home city, Chalon sur saone in France, has a very strong semi-professional rugbt eam. One of their players is Rumanian!
last, but not least, my suster's name is Laure!
Small world, isn't it?
Cheers,
Robert-Gilles

shizuokagourmet said...

Sorry, dear Laura!
I didn't read your answer in your last posting!
Now, I know that you are Rumanian!
My departed mother knew the old Rumanian anthem by heart! But that was how far her Rumanian went!
Now, My home city, Chalon sur saone in France, has a very strong semi-professional rugbt eam. One of their players is Rumanian!
last, but not least, my suster's name is Laure!
Small world, isn't it?
Cheers,
Robert-Gilles

FOODnTRAVELla said...

Your recipe looks tempting and easy to follow:-)

Laura said...

Thank you for saying that FOODnTRAVELla,
It is easy, and the result are delicious

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