Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bread Baking 101

I admit it I've never really been much of a baker but every couple years I give bread making a try again and this recipe has been a friends staple bread recipe for years so why not try again. Worst case scenario my house would smell great my kitchen would be a mess and I'd have a brick I couldn't feed even to the birds. Instead what I got was BEST case scenario. Yummy house, not as messy kitchen as I thought, and bread that was not only edible but YUM!

CHALLAH Photo by Bowerbirdknits; click here for more info

2T. yeast
2C. warm water
2 eggs
1/4C. honey
2t. salt
2T. butter or olive oil
7 to 8C. flour (I've been using unbleached all-purpose, but I don't use w.w. for this recipe)
egg wash

1. Dissolve yeast and honey in water (100-110 degrees) in large bowl. Let rest for 10 minutes.

2. Add eggs, salt, butter, and about 3 1/2 c. flour. Beat well with mixer. Add as much remaining flour as possible in your mixer.

3. Turn soft dough out onto well-flour surface and knead for 8 minutes (5-10) Use as little flour as possible for a delicate Challah. It should be velvety soft (like a baby's bottom my mom always said.)
Photo by Cooking with Friends; click here for more info (
4. Place dough in greased large bowl, greasing top of dough as well and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Let rist for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled.

5. Punch down (kids love to do that part!) and let rise again.

6. Cut dough in half, set half aside. Cut into thirds and roll dough into "snakes." Braid the 3 strands of dough. Repeat with reserved half. Place on greased baking sheet, let rise until doubled.

7. Brush with egg wash and bake at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes, until golden brown.

Photo by little m:); click here for more info

Variation: Apple Walnut Cinnamon Rolls

1. Butter a large baking dish sprinkle a handful or so of Brown Sugar on the bottom.

2. Roll half the dough into a large rectangle til about 1/4 in thick

3. Sprinkle 1 chopped apple (or 2 I had a large apple) handful or 2 of chopped walnuts and a good amount of brown sugar and cinnamon (I mixed mine together in a bowl first) and 2 T softened butter and a pinch of nutmeg I also used a little cardamom because I like its flavor.

4. Spread mixture to edges.

5. Roll into a log and cut 1 inch pieces and place into baking dish.

6. Let it rise again until nice and fluffy.

7. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until light golden brown. Enjoy! Makes many so share with friends.

Written by: Jenni of Lana Bella

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