Sunday, May 27, 2012
The Daring Bakers' May 2012 Challenge - Challah
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 love when a challenge is something I have not heard of and that was the case this month. I also love sweet eggy buttery breads, so it was a good month.
Challah is a Jewish celebration bread that is traditionally served on the Sabbath. Fortunately I made two loaves and put one in the freezer, because if there had been only one there is no way it would have lasted until Sunday.
The mixing part was very simple to do in the stand mixer. The braiding part was slightly more complicated, but like most girls who have ever had long hair (or even a doll with long hair), I can plait pretty well. I chose to do a 4 strand braid, but you can't really see that from the finished product because it over-rose and the surface tore down the middle when baked. I don't know what the technical term for this is but I think it happened because I proved them for too long. I was not too upset though because it still makes a gorgeous looking loaf.
I made the whole wheat version suggested by Ruth because I generally like wholemeal (as we call it Australia) but I think for next time plain white would probably work better.
Thanks to Ruth for the terrific challenge and especially for including lots of interesting information about challah - I really enjoyed baking (and eating) it.