Monday, December 16, 2013

Jewish Challah | HBC #7

Challah is a special Jewish braided bread eaten on Sabbath and holidays. It is also named khale (eastern Yiddish, German and western Yiddish), berches (Swabian), Zopf (Switzerland), barkis (Gothenburg), bergis (Stockholm), birkata in Judeo-Amharic, vianočka in Slovak language, kalács (Hungarian), chałka (Polish), colaci (Romanian), and kitke (South Africa).

Now isn't that a lot of names for a single bread. The names does seem complicated and so does the bread at first but it is really a breeze to make. All thanks to Priya of Cook like Priya who hosted this month's home bakers challenge and challenged us with this soft, fluffy bread.

I have made this bread two times in two weeks, now you know how much we loved this bread. I makes great french toasts or you could simply butter it generously, toast and then serve it with some orange marmalade and cold milk. I even made some bread pudding with chocolate chips and walnuts last weekend and it was just yummmm. Pappu came in for second helpings which he doesn't do generally.

If you have second thoughts to make this bread just because the braiding part seems complicated, then believe me don't think twice. Just go ahead and make it. Its just like braiding your hair and if you do that perfectly, this bread has to be your choice. The main reason that I made this bread twice was because pappu loved working with the dough. Everytime he touches it he says "beaad" and I just loved hearing it. So making this was something like our afternoon fun activity.

~*What U Need*~
All purpose flour - 2 cups + 1/4 cup
Sugar - 3 tbsps
Salt - 1 tsp
Eggs - 1 + 1 egg yolk
Vegetable oil - 2 1/2 tbsp
Instant yeast - 1 tsp
Water - 1/2 cup, lukewarm

How I Made it:
Add sugar to the water and dissolve well. Sprinkle yeast over water and allow to sit for 5 min. The water should become frothy. Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the egg, egg yolk, and oil. Whisk these together to form a slurry, pulling in a little flour from the sides of the bowl. Mix to form a shaggy dough. Pour the yeast mixture over the egg slurry. Mix the yeast, eggs, and flour with a long-handled spoon until you form a shaggy dough that is difficult to mix.

With a dough hook attachment, knead the dough on low speed for 6-8 minutes. If the dough seems very sticky, add flour a teaspoon at a time until it feels tacky, but no longer like bubblegum. The dough has finished kneading when it is soft, smooth, and holds a ball-shape. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place somewhere warm. Let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Once doubled, separate the dough into three equal pieces, depending on the type of braid you'd like to do. Roll each piece of dough into a long rope roughly 1-inch thick. Gather the ropes and squeeze them together at the very top. Braid the ropes together like braiding hair and squeeze the ends together when complete. Once you reach the end, squeeze the ends of the ropes together and tuck them under the loaf.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and lift the loaf on top. Sprinkle the loaf with a little flour and drape it with a clean dishcloth. Place the pan somewhere warm and away from drafts and let it rise until puffed and pillowy, about an hour. About 20 minutes before baking, heat the oven to 350°F. When ready to bake, whisk the egg white with a tablespoon of water and brush it all over the challah. Be sure to get in the cracks and down the sides of the loaf. Slide the challah on its baking sheet into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking. The challah is done when it is deeply browned and sounds hollow when tapped. Let the challah cool on a cooling rack until just barely warm.

Slice and serve with butter or jam...

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

Signs off!!!

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  1. it luks sooo perfect, Vimitha !! soo well done!!!

  2. Drooling here. Very inviting.

  3. Beead is so cute ;) such a lovely challah Vimi over the top, that golden hue is so gorgeous :) so happy you and family loved it... thanks for participating

  4. Excellent and lovely looking jewish challah.

  5. perfectly baked bread, love it with apple butter.

  6. Perfectly baked Challah, Vimitha! Neatly presented.. :)

  7. perfect challah bread, loved its nice golden brown crust..well done Vimitha!

  8. That is a perfectly baked challah... looks so good!

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.


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