Sunday, December 09, 2012

Challah time!

Day 10 of the Marathon, and I'm starting to grasp at straws a bit, in between trying to get some other work done, and still find something interesting to write here - I remembered the challah I had posted on FB and had promised to put up the recipe of :). So here it is!

This one is from a Breadworks workshop that was arranged for us (for free!), us being a group of us from the Foodies in Bangalore group on FB who were the first to apply (Fastest Fingers First type of arrangement) for it. Much thanks to Chef Maurice Chaplais who was very patient with all our first-timer queries and to Mr. Cherian Philip for the kind initiative.

The recipe is for 6 pieces, so you have to edit according to the space of your oven, didn't want to do too many divisions and confuse everything, so writing it here as is:

1485g White flour
250g Butter
85g Milk powder
28g Salt
28g Improver (this is something we used at the workshop but I made at home without it and there was no problem)
85g Dark sugar
6 eggs plus 6 yolks
590g Water
28g Fresh yeast (I used instant yeast, found the conversions online)

Did I mention you need a digital weighing scale for this one ;) ?

1. Mix all to window, make into ball and bulk 1 hour - that was the original recipe. Just wanted to add that the dough will seem absolutely squishy squashy and scary, but you need to just use those scrapers and your kitchen slab as your workspace and go ahead and knead. The technique was a sort of pull and fold, that I can't explain further, probably you can check out some videos online. The "window" refers to when the dough when pulled into a thin film will look like a translucent window!

2. Fold and leave 40-45'' - This is after the first proofing, when you pick up the dough, slightly stretch it into a rectangular shape. Then fold over from one edge, and then the other to make a square. Cover and leave again for a second rise.

3. Divide into 6 pieces of 450g each

4. Divide each piece into 3 and roll into lengths thicker in the middle than on the edge, and braid - Not too difficult except for the stickiness of the dough, if you've ever plaited hair before ;).

5. Brush with egg wash on top and dip/sprinkle poppy/sesame seeds. Prove again for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Under prove rather than over prove.

6. Bake deck @ 200 degrees C for 25 mins
7. Then bake in convection @180 degrees C for 20 mins - This deck part was a bit of a mystery, so I just baked at the temps given, in my oven. 

And that's what mine looked like :). Didn't have sesame seeds handy and was too enthusiastic to wait until I bought them ;). Unfortunately did not take one after cutting, but the crust was lovely too.


 Happy Baking!

22 comments:

  1. The bread looks beautiful, Aparna. It's time I tried it :)

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    1. Thanks Aparna :). It's a little bit of work, but you feel oh so accomplished at the end of it ;)

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  2. Gosh, looks like so much work! You rock, lady with all the baking, gardening and other stuff you manage to do..
    the bread looks so delicious!

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    1. Thanks Uma, so sweet of you :)..

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  3. Stunning bread... Scrumptious.

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    1. Thank you Pinksocks :)

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  4. Looks yum. You selling any?

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    1. Thanks Jane :). No, not yet ;).. definitely a long way to go in the bread category.

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  5. ohhh yummmm !! I am going to try this and get back to you..have most things at home,except milk powder and improver.
    And I agree with Uma.. you rock!!

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    1. Thanks Trish, it is the selective successes that make their way to my blog, you know that right ;)?
      And you can leave out the improver anyway, so just get the milk powder and try it out soon and tell me what you think1

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  6. u inspire me, all dishes look so easy on ur page... :))

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    1. Thanks Pushpa :). Believe me, except for the occasional one like this Challah which was thanks to that workshop, I usually only try the easy stuff ;).

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  7. Looks so yummy Aparna. Did you use a microwave?

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    1. Thanks Tulika :). No, this was in an oven. If you have a microwave with a convection setting, I think you can try it out, but OTG is supposed to be the best!

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  8. challah! loveee dis bread.. have my pics.. should post it soon...

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    1. Thanks :). You can keep it as backup for the day you are not getting other ideas ;)

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  9. That looks awesome. Very nicely baked crust that is.
    Unfortunately my bread baking passion is on hold at the moment but this is giving it some push...so perhaps soon... a baking will happen.

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    1. Thanks Life Begins :). Yeah breads can be not so interesting to follow through on, but once you get it right it's a real high!! I've not reached there yet, so here's to a lot more experimentation and breads !!

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  10. That looks like such a yummy fresh bread! We so need to meet up when I get back :) And you truly are a multi talented super woman :))

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    1. hehe Simz, I'm flattered, but hardly.. still absolutely capable of screwing up on the mundane things !! It's probably the stuff I'm interested in that goes well ;).

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  11. looks yummy..but can this be made without eggs...?

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    1. Thanks Sheetal :). This particular recipe(the challah) is made with eggs, but most other yeasted breads don't need them.

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