Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Happy Challahdays.

Challlaaahhh! It is the Challahday season and you know what that means - time to bake some Challah. You know the rules with it comes to bread.  Rose knows.  I read all these bread recipes, and I'm like.  Uh, I don't know dude, Rose didn't say to do it that way...

In Rose, I trust.  Put that on a dollar bill somewhere. Rose is 1 dollar, Martha is 100.

Challah by Rose Levy Beranbaum

I'm sorry Mom... Sort of.

Oven Temperature: 325°F. (tent with foil after 30 minutes)
Baking Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Makes: A 16 inch by 6 inch by 4 inch high, 4 braid loaf
1 pound 14.4ounces / 861 grams

volume ounces grams
water 1/2 liquid cup  . 118 grams
old stiff starter 75 to 85 grams
unbleached all purpose flour (use Harvest King) 3 cups . 424 grams
instant yeast 2 1/2 teaspoons . 8 grams
salt 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 teaspoons . 10.7-11 grams
2  1/2 large eggs used the remaining for glaze 4.2 ounces          120 grams
(weighed without shells)
honey 3 tablespoons (1-1/2 fluid ounces) . 60 grams
corn oil or
Vermont butter
1/4 liquid cup if oil . 54 grams
65 grams
Mix the dough In the mixer bowl, place the water and tear in the starter. Allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and yeast; then the salt.
Add the eggs and honey to the liquid in the mixer bowl and the corn oil or butter. Add the flour and with the dough hook, mix on low until moistened. On medium (#4 Kitchen Aid) beat for about 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and shiny. Add flour if necessary until it almost clears the bowl The dough should be just barely tacky. (The dough should weigh about 30.2 ounces / 856 grams.)  Form the dough into a ball.

Let the dough rise Place the dough into a 2 quart dough rising container or bowl, greased lightly with cooking spray or oil. Push down the dough and lightly spray or oil the top of the dough. Cover the container with a lid, plastic wrap or a damp towel. With a piece of tape mark on the side of the container approximately where double the height would be. Allow the dough to rise, ideally at 75 to 80 °F., until it has doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours (to 2 quarts). Gently deflate the dough by pushing it down, give it 2 business letter turns and allow to rise a second time. (The second rising takes about 45 minutes to an hour. 


Flatten the dough gently by pressing down on it, so as not to activate the gluten, making it stretchy. If desired, for best flavor development, the dough now can be placed in a larger container or wrapped loosely with plastic wrap, placed in a 1 gallon plastic bag, and refrigerated overnight -- in which case give it a turn or two first. Allow it to sit a room temperature for 20 minutes after dividing in 4 pieces and preshaping into logs. 

volume ounces grams
the remaining 1/2 of an egg, lightly beaten 1 1/2 tablespoons . 33 grams
water 3/4 teaspoon . .
Optional: poppy seeds 1 tablespoon . 9 grams

Shape the dough, glaze it, and let it rise Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces (214 to 217 grams each). Shape them into little logs, cover them with proofer or greased plastic wrap—no need to rest unless refrigerated overnight as they get more gluten development. Start by rolling one piece of dough on the counter into as long rope, 13 inches.  (Keep the rest covered while working with one-at-a-time.) Taper both ends of each dough rope to about 4 inches down so that they are narrower than the rest of the dough rope. (Allow the ropes to rest covered if stretchy.)

Starting from one tapered end, (middle, if doing a 3 strand braid) braid the strands. Pull the dough more as you come to the ends of the braid so that it comes to more of a point. Pinch the strands together at the end of the braid.

Don't allow too much bulge in the middle, i.e. braid tightly so that it doesn't spread when rising and baking. Push the ends together a little so that the loaf is about 14 inches long by 4 inches wide by 2 1/2 inches high. Place the loaf on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with glaze and cover. Let rise to 15 x 5 x 3 1/4 inches high—about 1 hour.

 Preheat the oven: 45 minutes before baking preheat the oven to 325°F. Have the oven shelf at the lowest level and place a baking stone or baking sheet on it before preheating.

Glaze and bake the challah.  Remove the plastic wrap and brush the challah all over with the egg glaze, going well into the crevices of the braid. Sprinkle the top with poppy seeds if desired, tilting the pan slightly to have access to the sides.
Quickly but gently set the bread onto the hot baking stone or hot baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Turn it around and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes (tent loosely with a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil after 30 minutes of baking time or if the top is getting too brown). Leave on parchment as very tender. The bread should be deep-golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle should come out clean. (An instant read thermometer inserted into the center will read about 180°F.)
Cool the challah on a rack.

And laugh like a toddler, because I made a challah penis.

Sometimes, I crack myself up.



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