Hooray, my first Daring Bakers' Challenge!
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.
I was so thrilled to do my first challenge properly so I baked two versions of challah using recipes Ruth provided. The vegan challah was a bit disappointing but the honey white challah was the best challah we ever had!
recipe - vegan challah
15 g dry yeast, 1 cup warm water, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup margarine, 2 tsp salt, 3 flax seed eggs (pour 6 tbsp warm water over 2 tbsp flax seed, wait for two or three minutes and grind the mixture until smooth), 2 cups buckwheat flour, 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading), oil for glaze
- Dissolve yeast in warm water, allow to stand 5 minutes until foamy.
- Beat the flax seed eggs, sugar, margarine and both flours into the yeast mixture. Knead properly and add flour if needed. The dough should be nice and smooth.
- Form the dough into a ball and let it rise for 2 hours in an oiled bowl covered with a piece of cloth.
- Knead the dough again and let it rise for another hour. Punch the dough down again and divide in two.
- Shape each half as desired (3, 4 or 6 strand braid, round or whatever - I made one 4 strand braid and one round braid). Place both loaves onto lined baking trays. Cover with the cloth and allow to rice another hour.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush loaves with some oil. Bake 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Let cool before serving.
recipe - honey white challah
1 1/2 cups warm water, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp dry yeast, 120 ml honey, 1 tbsp oil, 4 large eggs, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 700 g all-purpose flour (plus more as needed), 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water for glaze
- Combine 1/2 cup warm water, 1 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp yeast. Allow to proof 5 minutes until foamy.
- Add the remaining water, honey, oil, eggs, salt and flour to the yeast mixture and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth.
- Form the dough into a ball and let it rise for 1 1/2 hours in an oiled bowl covered with a piece of cloth.
- Punch down the dough and divide in two. Shape each half as desired (6 strand braids here).
- Place the braided loaves on lined baking trays, cover with the cloth and allow to rice another 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 160°C. Brush the loaves with the eggwash. Bake 30-40 minutes until done. Let cool before serving.