Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Challah - BTTFB April 2014

Braided, eggy, buttery, sweet bread ... Yeah Challah! A great choice with Easter coming up!

This month Carola of Sweet and That's It managed to sneak in two challenges for us "Back to the Future, Buddies", by advising us to try not only the original "Bread Baking Babes" recipe but another one as well. To be able to compare both loafs, or just to be able to eat LOADS of this lovely, very rich bread (that doesn't keep that well)? Just don't think about the amount of butter that goes in ....

            I'll cover the second recipe in a separate post, but here's a sneak preview, modelled by our gorgeous black lab Jingles.
gigantic challah ('second recipe' see separate post)
Back to the first recipe which was originally posted by Bread Baking Babe Sara of I like to cook in October 2008. It looks really impressive, but is fairly simple: two three-strand-braids on top of each other. The top braids do tend to slip off during proofing, but that is about the only thing that can go wrong. And oh, NEVER brush the loafs with egg yolk before the second rise. It will stick horrendously to whatever you cover it with ... (lesson learned).

1. dough pieces for one loaf
The first recipe (makes two loaves)
adapted from Back to future, buddies: Challah
800 gr white bread flour
45 gr caster sugar
14 gr salt
9 gr instant dry yeast
113 gr soft unsalted butter
240 gr lukewarm water
3 eggs + 1 egg white (= 240 gr), beaten
1 egg yolk + 1 tsp cold water, mixed

Mix all ingredients -but the egg yolk/water mix- by hand, (stand) mixer or bread maker. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover and leave to rise at room temperature for approximately 75 mins. The dough should double in size.

2. measuring the ropes
3. tighly braid the three ropes
On a lightly floured surface divide the dough in half (to make two loafs) and every half in two/thirds and one/third. This is best done by weighing the dough pieces. Then divide all dough pieces equally in three. (See picture 1). While dividing, rolling and braiding one loaf, cover the dough for the second one. Roll out the smaller dough pieces into 45 cm ropes, the bigger ones into 55 cm ropes (picture 2). Start braiding the longer ropes tightly (picture 3) and tuck under the beginning and end bits. Place the braid on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Now braid the shorter ropes and place the braid nicely on top of the other one. Braid the second loaf and place it next to the first one on the baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with plastic foil or place the baking sheet in a large plastic bag and leave to rise at room temperature for another hour. Then brush the loafs with the egg yolk/water mixture and bake in a preheated oven at 180 (fan) for 20 mins. Lower the oven temperature to 140 (fan) and bake for another 10 mins. (The internal temperature should be 93C.) Leave to cool on a wire rack.


  1. You've braided two beautiful Challahs, Claartjke. Thank you so much for baking along.
    I've fallen in love with the picture (and the lanscape) of your lovely dog & wonderful garden
    I wish the weather were a bit nicer here: have enough of rain and grey sky (hundred shades of grey!!!), fortunately your pic brought sunshine to my soul ... thank you <3

  2. Carola, you've made our day! If only you could see the rest of our "garden" .... (rough grassland infested with rabbits and deer, eating everything young & green). I've even watched deer eating the daffodils, which are supposed to be poisonous.