Monday, January 30, 2012

Challah bread

It's a good thing that I type these things out, instead of making videos or something. Since Friday, I've had this super awesome chest cold. First I started out sounding like a man, and now I pretty much don't have a voice. At least the invisible 400lbs person isn't sitting on my chest today.

But let's talk about bread.

Bread is sort of time consuming. I've made bread once by myself, and I think it took most of the day. If I started early in the morning it probably wouldn't have, but why would I wake up early? Anyways. I tend to not make bread by myself, because of this. Remember how I told you that my dad makes bread all the time? Well, when I am visiting him, or he is here visiting, I try to con/bribe/sweet talk  him into making bread with me. It doesn't seem as time consuming this way, because then I get to hang out with my parents while waiting for the bread to rise and such. And really, it doesn't take much to get him to bake bread with me. I think he likes it or something? (That was sarcasm a little bit. He does.) So I had asked him if over Christmas, while I was home, if we could bake this bread called Challah bread. He said sure! But...then Christmas came and went, and I was back home, facepalming, because I completely forgot about wanting to make that bread. Luckily for me, I went home again 3 weeks later, and he remembered! Hooray!

If you don't know, Challah bread is a bread that has eggs in it. Most bread, or at least, the bread that is made in my family, doesn't typically have eggs in it. So it ends up having a bit of a different taste. Plus, the best part about it, is that it looks cool. It's braided!

That was what caught my attention when I found the recipe. The recipe I used can be found here. It only makes one loaf, but that was okay, since it was a pretty big loaf.

We ended up having it with dinner the day we made it, and everyone seemed to think it was really good! Hooray for a successful bread making day!

The only unfortunate part about it, was that it didn't look as cool when it was cut.

Uncut-braided-challah bread.

Cut-braided-challah bread. Boring!

I was also worried because of how dark it was getting in the oven! Part of that was because of the egg white wash on the top, but I think it also had to do with the fact that the oven at my parent's house runs a little bit hotter than it should. Even though we turned it down at least 10 degrees.

Regardless, it was a delicious side to dinner. I'd probably make it again, but next time with poppy seeds!

We made a slight alterations to the recipe, but nothing in the amount of ingredients. Instead of putting the water, yeast, salt and oil in all at once, we let the yeast dissolve and foam in the luke warm water for about 10-15 minutes first.

Another couple of tips, via the dad.
1) Use a plastic bag instead of a damp towel to cover the dough while it is rising. It holds the moisture/warmth in better

2) To clean your counters of the dough that has stuck to it while you are kneading, use the back side of a metal spatula. Takes that stuff off the counter like nobody's business!

(Please note - I did not do that. I probably would have tried to scrub it with a cloth...or my hands.)

Another good thing about baking bread with my dad? He cleans as we go. Enough said.

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