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.
And we did! I love making Challah...it looks beautiful and is delicious. I would say one of my favourites is Peter Reinhart's- from either the Bread Baker's Apprentice or Artisan Breads Everyday - I was a recipe tester for that book so it is very special to me!
I keep on trying different recipes though, just to see the differences and I just bought a new book called
Inside the Jewish Bakery: Recipes and Memories from the Golden Age of Jewish Baking.
I bought it at the Cookbook Store in downtown Toronto. This really is my go-to store for cookbooks and is an independantly owned store so I encourage you to go check it out if you live in Toronto or are visiting the city!
It really has some great stories about the history of Jewish baking. I wouldn't recommend it to a novice baker though, as it often skips steps and assumes you are familiar with the process. I made the Challah and it was very good. I also made the Double Knot Rolls which we used as hamburger buns and they were amazing! The combination of Camera Guy's fabulous hamburgers and these buns was the best! I will post about them another time, but you can use the same dough you use for the Challah/egg bread.
Here is a photo of the rolls:
I didn't use the following recipe that Ruth suggested for this challenge as I have my favourites above, but other Daring Bakers loved it, so I wanted to share it with you.
In July, Elliot (my son) and his girlfriend Leah are coming to Toronto to visit. I can't wait! I think I will have to make...Challah...French toast...buns..and so the list begins....
Here is the recipe:
Challah (Honey White)(from Tammy’s Recipes)
Servings: 2 loaves
1 ½ cups (360 ml) warm water, separated
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) (15 gm/½ oz sugar
2 Tbsp. (2-2/3 packets) (30 ml) (18 gm) (2/3 oz) dry active yeast
½ cup (120 ml) honey
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) oil (light colored vegetable oil, or olive oil if you prefer)
4 large eggs
1 ½ tsp. 7½ ml) (9 gm) (1/3 oz) salt
5 cups (1200 ml) (700 gm/25 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus more as needed (up to 8 or 9 cups total)
1. In mixer bowl/large mixing bowl combine ½ cup warm water, 1 Tbsp. sugar and 2 Tbsp. yeast. Allow to proof approximately 5 minutes until foamy.
2. To the yeast mixture add the remaining water, honey, oil, eggs, salt and 5 cups of flour. Knead (by hand or with your mixer’s dough hook) until smooth, adding flour as needed. Knead for approximately 10 minutes.
3. Transfer dough to a clean, oiled bowl, turn to coat or add a bit more oil on top. Cover bowl with a kitchen/tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 ½ hours.
4. Punch down the dough, divide it into two sections. Use one half to make each loaf (shaped or braided as desired).
5. Place loaves on parchment lined or greased baking sheets, cover with a towel, allow to rise 30 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
7. Brush tops loaves with egg wash. (Sprinkle with seeds or toppings here if wanted.)
8. Bake loaves 30-40 minutes until done.
9. Cool on wire racks.