Sunday, April 24, 2011

Challah Bread

I made this bread specifically to make french toast for Easter.  I love Challah Bread as it has a light but rich eggy texture with a hint of sweetness.  It is good with just a smear of butter.  Though it is fantastic as french toast or even bread pudding or just all by itself.

Challah Bread

3 - 3 1/4 c.all-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast (or 1 package)
1/4 c. sugar
2 large eggs + 1 egg separated (reserve egg white for egg wash)
4 tbsp. butter, melted (1/2 stick)
1/2 c. + 1 tbsp. warm water 

Take 1/2 c. of warm water and add yeast and 1 tsp. of sugar and allow to rest for a few minutes.  In a medium bowl whisk together 3 cups of flour, sugar and salt and set aside.  In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix together the water and yeast mixture, 2 eggs, egg yolk, and melted butter.  Add the flour mixture using the dough hook on low speed until a ball of dough forms, roughly 5 minutes.  If necessary add up to another 1/4 c. of flour 1 tbsp. at a time.  In a small bowl whisk the remaining egg white and 1 tbsp. water together for the egg wash, cover and refrigerate for use later.  Remove the dough from the mixer and place in a large lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat with the oil and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise 2 hours. Press gently to deflate, recover and allow to rise another 1 hour.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into 2 pieces. One should be roughly half the size as the other.  Divide the large dough into three separate but equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a 16-inch long rope and 1-inch in diameter.  Line up the ropes side by side and braid them together pinching the ends of the braid to seal them.  Place the large braid on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Now divide the second, smaller, piece of dough into 3 equal pieces and roll into a 16-inch long rope and 1/2-inch in diameter.  Again, braid together pinching the ends together to seal the braid.  Brush some of the egg wash on the large braid and then lay the smaller brain on top of the large braid.  Loosely drape the loaf with plastic wrap and allow to rise another 45 minutes or until puffy and increases in size by about 1/3.

Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Brush the entire loaf with the remaining egg wash.  Bake the loaf about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the side of the loaf reads about 175 degrees.  Let cool completely before slicing.  

No comments:

Post a Comment