Thursday, June 18, 2009

challah bread - bread baker's apprentice challenge #6

Another week, another Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge! When I looked up challah bread on wikipedia, I discovered it goes by many names. After making my way through this recipe a number of times this past week, I've decided it should maybe just be called delicious.

Part of what I love about this book (and the BBA Challenge) is the straight forward bread education. While some traditions like eating turkey for Thanksgiving may be ingrained from our youth; what about the breads that accompany so many meals. Sure we all love a baguette, or San Francisco sourdough, but does the average person know much about a breads past? With challah, there is quite a bit to discover. Connected with the Sabbath, Mr. Reinhart starts with some history. Did you know its symbolic of God's goodness and bounty? Or that the typically braided loaf can be rounded to symbolize the world has no beginning or end? There is lots more to learn I promise you, but how about we make some bread!

This is a pretty quick bread recipe. Like the Casatiello, you can probably wrap this up in 5-6 hours. As always, a quick weighing out of the dry and wet ingredients.

After a good knead, and some time to rise, you can start to shape your dough. Here you have many choices. 3 pieces for one big loaf, 2 pieces if you would like to create a couple of round versions or just keep dividing it and make elaborate 6 braid challah's. As well, there is mention of the celebration challah which requires a bit more measuring and dividing out. I was able to tackle this recipe quite a few times, and ended up making 2 large 3 braid's, 1 smaller 3 braid, 1 round version, and 2 sandwich versions..

The dough gets a egg white wash before being topped with poppy or sesame seeds.

A 1/2 sized 3 braid challah.

A full size 3 braid challah.

I decided to toss some raisins in the round challah, and one of the sandwich versions.

It's a nice treat, adding a little more texture. I'm not sure what happened to the first slice or two of the round one, as the raisins didn't seem to mix in this spot.

This is another fantastic recipe, and with the bread being so quick (and delicious), I think I'll be making this one again. I really can't thank Nicole, Pinch My Salt, enough for putting this challenge out. The pictures, support and comments from our challenge group are wonderful.


Elra said...

Such a beautiful challah you have here. The braids look so perfect too. Bravo!

Sarah said...

Awaiting delivery. :) :) :) :)

hanne said...

Chris, you're a rock star. That challah is beautiful. I hope you're bringing bread to the meetup!

Chris said...

*blush* Gee. Thanks everyone!

I've often wondered if I should be bringing bread :)

Sharon said...

I can attest that the challah was awesome!

Bread at the meetup would be great!

Bellavino said...

Chris - I heard via Twitter yesterday that Anthony Bourdain is coming to Calgary for a speaking engagment either the end of this year or early next year. As I know you are a fan of his as well I was wondering if you knew any details about this?? I cant find anything anywhere!!! I am hoping this is not just a rumour and Im not getting my hopes up!!

Chris said...

AH! OMG. You made my year Bellavino. I found this:

Don't miss this opportunity to see Anthony Bourdain!

Bourdain has been working in and around the food business for 28 years. He has published books about his experiences (Kitchen Confidential, A Cook’s Tour, The Nasty Bits, No Reservations) and is also the the host of the Travel Channel program Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. If you have yet to see him speak, you are in for an entertaining night!

Tickets On Sale: September 19, 2009
Prices: $35 - $100
Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Time: 8:00pm - 11:00pm
Location: EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts
Street: 205 8th Avenue SE
City/Town: Calgary, AB

Bellavino said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I knew I could count on a fellow Anthony Bourdain Junkie to help me out!!!

Are tickets at TM?
What website did you find this info?

I know this is totally off topic of your lovely Challah Bread, but I was desperate for some answers :)

Thanks again!!!

Chris said...

Your more than welcome. I didn't even know where you were going with the Anthony comment when I saw my sidebar, but feel free to talk about him in any thread you would like! ^-^!

After my intense (yes I was almost sweating with excitement) search, I found the information on facebook of all places.

And you know I'll be filling up a seat!

* If I hear or see anything else, I'll let you know.

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