Weekend Relaxation – Baking a Challah Bread

Something about bread baking makes me feel very calm. It takes all day, kneading, resting, kneading, resting, which is almost zen kind of experience. Not that I am religious or anything, so I wouldn’t know the real zen relaxation, but I feel good when baking bread.

I just saw a recipe on Food Network, and thought it would be a good weekend pastime.

Recipe is as follows:

-1 cup warm water, about 110 degrees F
-1 teaspoon sugar
– 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
– 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus about 1 cup for kneading
– 1⁄3 cup honey
– 2 whole large eggs
– 3 large egg yolks
– 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
– 1 tablespoon kosher salt
– 3/4 cup to 1 cup currants
– 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Dissolve sugar and yeast in water, let it bubble up for about 8 minutes. Mix it with honey, 1 whole egg, egg yolks, olive oil. Make a well on flour and salt mixture, pour in the wet ingredients, and currants. Once it’s mixed, knead it for about 10 minutes.

To mix the ingredients, I used a stand mixer, but you should definitely knead it manually. It definitely makes a difference. Dough hook doesn’t do what our hands can do…

Once it’s smooth, put it in a greased bowl, and let it rise until the size doubles. (Fortunately I have a bread rising mechanism on my oven, so it was easy).

When the size doubles, punch it down and knead it for just a minute, then put it back and let it rise again until the size doubles.

Once it’s done, you cut the dough into three equal pieces (some people do 6, but I took the easy way). Braid the dough nicely, as if you are braiding a girl’s hair. Let is rise AGAIN until the size doubles.

Brush it with egg, bake it for about 30 minutes on 375 oven or until it sounds hollow. I didn’t sprinkle it with poppy seeds, since I don’t have such a drug in my household. hehe.

I should have taken pictures of each step, but of course, when I realized this would be a perfect one, it was already done.

Doesn’t this look GORGEOUS? I should work for Amy’s Bread. Too bad, I don’t eat too much bread, and I have NO IDEA about good bread vs. bad bread. But I brought it to work, and many “bread connoisseurs” said it was fabulous. So I guess it was a success in both appearance and taste.

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4 Responses to “Weekend Relaxation – Baking a Challah Bread”

  1. Mel Says:

    i miss yamahomo bakery!!! looks so good.

  2. Mel Says:

    i miss yamahomo bakery!!! looks so good.

  3. Sonja Says:

    That looks super yummy! How can you not eat so much bread…you are both lucky and damned! Why don’t they make more challah with raisins?

  4. Sonja Says:

    That looks super yummy! How can you not eat so much bread…you are both lucky and damned! Why don’t they make more challah with raisins?

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