Helen's Mulberry Lane Farm Journal
November 29, 2010.
I made the most wonderful bread last Sunday! We were having guests and I wanted something a little different from the usual French Bread. I also needed to add a little filler for dessert, since my meal was on the meager side. I wanted a sweet egg type bread since I always have lots of eggs so I searched for an egg bread online and came up with a wonderful recipe. I don't recommend trying new recipes on guests, but I felt adventurous that day!
Challah is Jewish, of course and is defined as: a loaf of white bread containing eggs and leavened with yeast; often formed into braided loaves and glazed with eggs before baking.
I adapted the recipe somewhat so I guess I can claim it as an original! Go ahead and make this in the bread machine. I have a Zojirushi and love it! I don't know how to say Zojirushi and had to look up the spelling, but anyway, a great machine. I'm all for slaves in my kitchen and this one is pretty cheap per hour!
I love the look of braided breads!
Photo by Helen Aardsma, November, 2010.
Helen's Challah Bread
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoons salt 2 eggs, room temperature
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast
1 egg, beaten 1 tablespoon water
1. Place warm water, sugar, honey, vegetable oil, salt, 2 eggs, flour and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough cycle; press Start.
2. After the machine is done, take the dough out, and place it on a very lightly floured board, punch the dough down, and let rest for 5 minutes. It will be a little more sticky and soft than the normal bread dough but it shouldn't be so sticky that is is impossible to work with. You may need to add a little more flour (not more than 1/4 cup or so) so that it holds its shape somewhat.
3. Divide the dough in half. Then divide into 3 equal pieces, roll into ropes about 12 to 14 inches, and braid into a loaf. Do the same with the remaining other half. Gently put the loaves on a greased cookie sheet, mist with water, sprinkle poppy seeds over the top of the bread, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours in a warm, draft free place, until double in size.
4. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a small bowl, beat together 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water.
5. Brush risen loaves with egg mixture. Bake in pre-heated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes. If it begins to brown too soon, cover with foil.
6. Let cool before slicing.
I found that this bread is best eaten on the same day. Also it likes to be cooled before slicing. I served this with our delicious Mulberry Lane Farm organic strawberry jam. It was also a big hit just served with butter! (Gotta' be butter, no substitutes!)
This would make a nice breakfast for Christmas morning. The night before, you can put the covered dough in the fridge, once you have braided the loaves. Then just pop them in the oven the next morning. What a wonderful smell will greet your family as they dive for their filled-to-the-brim stockings!
You can't beat a beautiful fall day in the mountains of Virginia!
Photo by Helen Aardsma, October, 2010.
More next time......