Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Experimental Challah

Several years ago, my sister in law gave me a fun Jewish cookbook which of course contains a tried and true challah recipe. This recipe comes from Bubby Irma's kitchen. And it makes four loaves of challah. On Friday, I sat down to make challah for my super husband only to find that while the recipe needed three eggs, I had two.

I decided to cut the recipe in half. First part of the experiment. Then I decided to use one egg and one egg white, leaving one egg yolk for brushing. Second part of the experiment. Next, I had some leftover dried cranberries and golden raisins. With the phrase "in for a penny, in for a pound" running through my head, I added them. Third part of the experiment. Lastly, Bubby Irma encourages half white and half wheat flour to make a great challah. Me? I just used whole wheat pastry flour and crossed my fingers. The fourth and final part of the experiment. How did it come out?

Dear husband was thrilled and finished a whole loaf within twenty-four hours. (He is so good for my culinary ego!) Hope that you enjoy!

Experimental Challah:
1/4 C olive oil
1/3 C honey
1/2 T salt
1 egg, 1 egg separated
1 C warm water
1 Packet of yeast
4 C of whole wheat pastry flour
1 C raisins and cranberries (or whatever dried fruit you have lying around the house)

1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Dump out bowl onto a floured surface and knead. Bubby Irma says knead for 10 minutes, I go by feel. If it is elastic and smooth looking, I stop.
3. Let the dough rise in an oil bowl. (Place dough in bowl make sure all sides are oiled and dough is as well. Place a towel over bowl and let it rest.)
4. Punch down dough when it has risen. Let it rise a second time.
5. Then punch down and pull dough out to...that is right, braid it!
6.Braid dough. ( I wish I knew a trick, but I keep to the simple three strand bread braid.)
7. Brush with egg yolk.
8. Let bread rise on pan for another 20 minutes and then place into a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

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