Saturday, June 15, 2019

Double-Tweaked My Challah Recipe, Better Results

I made two changes to my usual challah recipe. One change I made in my challah recipe was intentional, and the other was accidental, but the results were phenomenal. For the longest time, even though my challot tasted great, the texture was problematic. My husband complained that the sandwiches I made him with the leftover challah crumbled terribly.  I tried leaving out the eggs, but there wasn't any real improvement.

On Friday, when I made my latest batch of challah (usually enough to last a month or more, since we don't eat much bread) I increased the water to four 4 cups. And for whatever reason, I forgot to add the pinch of salt*.   (*Due to various comments, I do add some coarse salt now.)

I used the same whole wheat flour as usual, but the challot ended up almost double the size, much softer and better texture.

This is the newly tweaked recipe:

1 cup sugar (I use dark brown)
2 Tablespoons or a bit more of dehydrated yeast
approximately 2 kilo flour (I used 70% or 100% whole wheat extra fine)
4 cups of warm water
1 cup of any vegetable oil
1 egg for painting to make a shiny challah

Mix sugar and yeast in large bowl.
Add the warm water.
Cover with plastic.
When it looks all bubbly and has risen add the oil.
Gradually add flour, mixing all the time, until you can knead it.
Knead for about 8 minutes.
Coat completely in a bit more oil.
Cover and wait until doubled in size, anything from 20 to 40 minutes depending on the weather and quality of yeast.
Punch down, then cover and wait again.
"Take a piece of challah" for the blessing.
Punch down and then shape on baking pan, covered with baking paper. The shaping as you can see in my photos can be very simple.
Paint with raw egg and let the challot rise a bit.
Bake. *Start in a hot fan/turbo oven 180c (360f), and then lower temperature when you can see the challah begin to brown a bit 150c (300f).
It's ready when hard on the bottom and has a hollow sound when tapping the bottom.
Let cool out of the oven.

Enjoy for Shabbat, Jewish Holidays or whenever you want a special bread. PS They freeze well.

*There are too many factors to predict exact baking time.


rutimizrachi said...

Glad you found a recipe that works for you!

Batya said...

thanks, me, too