Well… a few weeks ago, I remember telling you that I would try to update more often. And now over a week goes by before I put up a new post.
I guess real life got in the way again, although nothing special really happened this week. Well, besides starting research again and soaking up the sun as much as possible.
Oh, and it was my one-year blogiversary on Thursday. I had all these big plans to bake a special cake and post it on here to celebrate.
Yeah… that never happened.
So, here’s some bread instead.
To tell you the truth, I’ve always been intimidated by challah bread. The intricate braiding. The whole yeast thing. Everything pretty much told me to stay away from it in the kitchen and just buy a loaf off the grocery store shelves.
That’s why I was pretty excited when I saw it was May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge.
And from experience I can tell you for sure that there is absolutely nothing to be intimidated by. Seriously.
Just a sneak peek for what’s in store: bread pudding with the leftover challah. Delish.
(Blog-checking lines: May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge was pretty twisted – Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to make challah! Using recipes from all over, and tips from “A Taste of Challah,” by Tamar Ansh, she encouraged us to bake beautifully braided breads.)
Honey White Challah Bread
Makes 2 large loaves
1-½ cups warm water, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons (about 3 packets) active-dry yeast
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1-½ teaspoons salt
5 cups all purpose flour, plus more as needed (total of about 8 to 9 cups)
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
In a large mixing bowl, combine ½ cup warm water, sugar, and yeast. Allow to proof for about 5 minutes until foamy.
Add remaining 1 cup of water, honey, oil, eggs, salt, and 5 cups flour. Knead using stand mixer or hands for about 10 minutes, until a smooth ball forms, adding more flour as needed.
Transfer dough ball to a clean and oiled bowl. Flip dough around so all sides are covered in oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave in a warm place until doubled, about 1 ½ hours.
Punch dough down and divide into two sections to make two separate loaves.
To make a six-stranded braid, divide one dough ball into six equal pieces. Roll to form “snakes” that are slightly thicker in the middle and thinner at the ends. Pinch all six strands together at the top. Starting from the left-most strand, carry the strand over two strands, under the middle strand, and over two more strands. This will now be the strand that is farthest to the right. Repeat again new strand that is farthest left. Over two, under one, over two. Repeat until strands are entirely braided. Tuck both sides under so that a nice loaf is formed and pinched ends cannot be seen.
Repeat with remaining section.
Place loaves on a lightly greased baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Brush risen loaves with egg wash (one egg with one teaspoon water). Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
Source: Tammy’s Recipes