Tuesday 1 January 2013

The Softest Challah

I thought as I love baking bread, why not do a bread post for starting the New year of Blogging.
Wishing all my friends and lovely blog readers A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR
Hope every one had a wonderful start of the new year.
We any way started with a bang. Went to my inlaws place for New years eve party which was so fun and the food was so delicious too. A good way to start the year I think with good good and drinks and lot of laughter.

I made this Challah in December thankx to my elder sister.
One day she excitedly rang me and told me what she is making in her kitchen and then after a while she rang me and saif the challah is kept for rising.
Then she phoned again very happy to tell me how good they are looking and next day she rang me to say how DELICIOUS they were and that she was busy making two more challah to give to her friends and she was so much in praise of the recipe, and the only thing I heard for next few days from her is how the bread is so good and that she made atleast 6 if them to give as presents for her friends, so in the end I ended up making them too.
And I must admit I am so glad that I ended up making them as this is the best challah I have ever made and I must say I have tried few recipes in the last years and to be honest I will not be changing into any other recipe, this is going to be the recipe I will be using always.
The bread is so so soft that if I could I would eat half in a go.

This is the best Challah I have made and the recipe I got from The Kitch here
You should go and check there, the recipe is so clear and I loved the step  by step pictures which is elaboratley done.

2 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
1 cup (8 ounces) lukewarm water
4 - 4 1/2 cups (20 - 22 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk (reserve the white for the egg wash)
1/4 cup (2 ounces) neutral-flavored vegetable oil


 Sprinkle the yeast over the water in a small bowl, and add a healthy pinch of sugar. Stir to dissolve the yeast and let stand until you see a thin frothy layer across the top. This means that the yeast is active and ready to use. (If you do not see this or if your yeast won't dissolve, it has likely expired and you'll need to purchase new yeast.)
Whisk together 4 cups of the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer (or in a large mixing bowl if kneading by hand).
 Make a well in the center of the flour and add the eggs, egg yolk, and oil. Whisk these together to form a slurry, pulling in a little flour from the sides of the bowl.
 Pour the yeast mixture over the egg slurry. Mix the yeast, eggs, and flour with a long-handled spoon until you form a shaggy dough that is difficult to mix.
With a dough hook attachment, knead the dough on low speed for 6-8 minutes. (Alternatively, turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for about 10 minutes.) If the dough seems very sticky, add flour a teaspoon at a time until it feels tacky, but no longer like bubblegum. The dough has finished kneading when it is soft, smooth, and holds a ball-shape.
 Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place somewhere warm. Let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
 Separate the dough into three or six equal pieces, depending on the type of braid you'd like to do. Roll each piece of dough into a long rope roughly 1-inch thick and 16 inches long. If the ropes shrink as you try to roll them, let them rest for 5 minutes to relax the gluten and then try again.
Gather the ropes and squeeze them together at the very top.
If making a 6-stranded challah, the directions are as she has mentioned in her place , there is step by step pics how to do it
Line a baking sheet with parchment and lift the loaf on top. Sprinkle the loaf with a little flour and drape it with a clean dishcloth. Place the pan somewhere warm and away from drafts and let it rise until puffed and pillowy, about an hour.

 About 20 minutes before baking, heat the oven to 350°F. When ready to bake, whisk the reserved egg white with a tablespoon of water and brush it all over the challah. Be sure to get in the cracks and down the sides of the loaf.

Slide the challah on its baking sheet into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking

Let the challah cool on a cooling rack until just barely warm. Slice and eat.
Sending this DELICIOUS Challah to Yeastspotting


Angie's Recipes said...

Beautifully braided and it looks super soft indeed!
Happy New Year, Finla.

indosungod said...

Lovely bread Finla. Happy New Year!

Usha said...

Looks awesome, love it!!

A very Happy New Year to you and your family Finla !!

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

Wow - looks lovely! Happy New Year!

great-secret-of-life said...

super yummy and soft Challah

Cham said...

That is buttery soft bread Finla. Wish you and your family a Wonderful year :)

Dining Alone said...

Happy New Year!!

Priya Suresh said...

Happy new year wishes to you and your family.Gorgeous and pretty attractive challah bread.

Gloria Baker said...

Look wonderful Finla I love this type of bread, delicious!!
Happy new yeaR DEAR!

Niru said...

U r introducing new dishes to me..never heard this but looks fabulous...will surely try soon...thanks

Unknown said...

I first tried challah when I made it for a DB Challenge this year. Mmmmm, yum, how delicous! I have to say yours looks supersoft! Happy New Year!

sra said...

This looks delicious! I can feel your and your sister's excitement.

Srividya said...

This Challa is looks so delicious. Will have to try definitely.

I didn't know u had a food blog. Visited through the FB link. :) Love ur photographs.

Kitchen Chronicles said...

The braided bread looks super soft and perfect.