Challah

16:57

This month the Daring bakers challenge was special as we had the freedom of choice of what to make from the all previous challenges and there was no limitation on how many one person can do. I have been a bit of a busy bee and completed 3 challenges, simply because I was not able to make my mind up. This Jewish bread is the first one and the other two I will post sequentially over the next few days. The host for this challenge in May 2012 was Ruth from http://mommy-crafts.blogspot.co.uk/. I decided to make a four strand braid and followed the "Challah Honey White" recipe.


The amount of the given ingredients is sufficient to make 2 loaves of bread:
360 ml warm water
15 gr sugar
18 gr dry active yeast (I used 25 gr fresh yeast)
120 ml honey
15 ml (or 1 tablespoon oil)
4 large eggs
9 gr or 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
800 gr flour (you will probably need a bit more; add little by little)
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon of water


Preheat the oven to 165 C/325 F.
Combine the sugar and yeast with 1/2 cup of water and let it rise for about 5 minutes, or at the very least until it becomes foamy.Then add the remaining water, honey, oil, eggs, salt and flour. Knead for about 10 minutes,until it gets really smooth, adding flour as needed.

Transfer dough to a clean oiled bowl, making sure that the dough is oiled on top. Cover it and leave to rise until it doubles in size for about 1 1/2 hours. If you make it on a hot day, as I did, it will rise much quicker. When risen, punch it down, divide into two parts for two loaves. For shaping techniques I followed this link .


Now, when you've shaped the loaves to your satisfaction, place them on a lined baking tray to rise for 30 minutes. The recipe prescribes to brush them with an egg-wash just before they go into the oven. I egg-washed them immediately after shaping the loaves and once again before baking them. This way, they come out rich in texture and golden, glossy brown in colour. You can also sprinkle some seeds, but I decided not to. Bake both loaves for 30 to 40 minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool.
   



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