Saturday, February 6, 2010


Today I embarked on a mission to test out my new toy - a Red Kitchen Aid Mixer with 475 watts of power to do my bidding.
And since I do enjoy my carbohydrates, I decided to make fresh bread. My recipe of choice: Challah, which is also known as the egg bread from the Angelo Bakery.


The Mixer.
I must admit that I have a tendency to run astray from following exact recipes.
My creative zest has resulted in many ruined recipes in the past.

So today, I decided to follow the EXACT recipe.

However this seeming simple task would prove to be an adventure filled with a few setbacks.

As I progressed through the instructions, I decided to dump the contents of the bowl onto the table in order to knead the dense dough.
After noticing that the mixture was particularly dry- too dry, I made an executive decision to add an EXTRA 1/3 cup of milk.
The first problem was quickly solved! WOOOh!!

As I were nearing the end to the 20 minute kneading session, I realized that I forgot to add the sugar! So I created a pocket in the dough and added the sugar and continued to knead. My hands became sticky as the sugar pocket was slowly pushed outward. Eventually the dough became smooth and normal looking. WOOOh, a potential crisis of bland bread was averted!

After spending more than 20 minutes kneading the dough, I realized that our mixer came with a kneading hook. Why did I manual knead the dough when our mixer could do it in less time and more evenly? I have no idea.

Before putting the bread in the oven, the recipe asked for a separated egg yolk mixture. I managed to loose half of the egg yolk. Luckily, these eggs had big yolks. Crisis averted.

I took the bread out of the oven 3 minutes early.

I feared that the crust would turn black if I left it in any longer.

After letting both loaves cool, I had to use sharp knife to cut the bread because the top crust was impenetrable!

I felt like an Amazon woman trying to slice an armadillo's hard shell!

Perhaps I applied the egg wash too liberally.

Regardless, the inside flesh was springy and delicious!

The raisins that I added are poking out.
I couldn't resist straying a little from the recipe.
A peak from behind... 

Would I use this recipe again? Maybe.

Recipe for Challah Print Friendly Version
1 cup lukewarm water (or a slight bit less)
3 packets active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
6 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg yolk
In a small bowl, combine the water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Leave the mixture to stand for 3 minutes and then stir until the yeast is dissolved. Then leave it for a further 5 minutes.
Combine 4 1/2 cups of flour with the salt and remaining sugar in a large, deep mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture, then add the eggs and vegetable oil. Gently stir until the ingredients are blended together. Stirring more vigorously, blend in the remaining flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 20 minutes.
Place the dough ball into a bowl, cover the bowl with a clean cloth, and let it stand for 45 minutes or until the dough has nearly doubled in bulk. Turn the dough out and knead for 5 minutes. Let it rest for 5 another minutes.
Cut the dough in half with a sharp knife, then cut each half into thirds. Roll each piece of dough into a long cylinder that tapers at each end, somewhat cigar shaped. Pinch the ends of the 3 long dough pieces together. Braid the 3 pieces, then pinch the other ends together. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Place the each dough braid on a lightly greased cookie sheet and leave them to stand for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of cold water. Brush the tops of the challahs with the egg yolk and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375°F and bake for 40 minutes more, or until the challah bread is a nice golden brown. Cool on a rack before cutting.
Makes 2 loaves.

Don't forget to add in the yeast...

... and watching it grow! 


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  2. For a rookie bread maker, this is not too bad.
    we want to see the pictures.

  3. Joyce!!!You are amazing! Can you make Hamentashen? I need to make some for Purim which is this weekend, and we all know that I'm not a baker.(hamentashen are triangle cookies filled with jam/chocolate/poppyseeds... they are suppose to look like the bad guys ear from the story of Esther.)

  4. Can we make them next weekend? :D


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