Challah

While watching television yesterday I saw someone using Challah for a bread pudding and I wanted to make that. Well trying to find some decent Challah in town was not easy so I figured I might as well make my own. So today I will be showing you how to make Challah.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 pkg. instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup honey (I like using orange blossom)
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 whole egg + 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • (egg wash: 1 egg + 1 Tbsp. honey)

Step 1: In a large bowl, pour in the warm water and sprinkle in the yeast.

Step 2: Beat in the honey, vegetable oil, egg, yolks, and salt.

Step 3: Add in the flour, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition.

Step 4: Knead in the bowl or lightly floured surface until smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky; adding flour as needed.

Step 5: Cover with a damp towel, and proof for 45-60  minutes, or until doubled in size.

Step 6: Punch dough down and turn onto lightly floured surface.

Step 7: Divide the dough into 3 equal portions.

Step 8: Knead each portion for 5 minutes, adding flour to keep from getting sticky.

Step 9: Roll each portion into a long rope of about 1 1/2-inch thick.

Step 10: To braid the dough see video: Braiding Challah (I had it to long, so I had to cut it in half to fit on the baking sheet)

Step 11: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the braided dough on top of the prepared baking sheet.

Step 12: Cover the dough with a damp towel and allow to proof for 30 minutes.

Step 13: Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Step 14: Brush the dough with the egg wash.

Step 15: Bake for 30-35 minutes, cover the bread with foil after the first 20 minutes.

Step 16: Cool on wire rack

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Grapefruit Bread

Going through a nostalgic moment this week and bought a few grapefruits for breakfast or to just snack on during the day. I remember sitting in the kitchen on the weekends as a child and spooning on teaspoons of sugar on top of grapefruit half and sharing it with my mom. It must have been a warm day with a bit of wind because the kitchen was brightly lit and the windows were wide open. When these memories hit me I just had to buy some grapefruits. I got some and after about 4 days of eating grapefruit I still had one left and I didn’t feel like eating it with just plain old sugar. So I figured I could incorporate it into a baked good of some sort. Nothing to fancy or anything. Just something easy to make and will only require 1-2 grapefruits.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

Bread

  • (3oz.) 3/4 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or white whole wheat
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 egg whites
  • (6oz.) 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt (If using plain yogurt add 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 grapefruits, segmented, coarsely chopped, and juice reserved (I will be using an orange in place of 1 grapefruit, don’t do this it will change the taste of the bread and not in a good way either.)
  • 1 Tbsp. grapefruit zest
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)

Glaze

  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. grapefruit juice

Bread

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F and grease the loaf pan (I lined the bottom with parchment paper)

Step 2: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Step 3: In a medium bowl, add the egg whites and whisk them until they become frothy.

Step 4: Add in the yogurt, milk, and oil; whisk together until combined.

Step 5: Stir in the grapefruit pieces and zest.

Step 6: Fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture until no lumps.

Step 7: Fold in the pecans.

Step 8: Pour into the prepared loaf pan.

Step 9: Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until a deep golden brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.

Step 10: Cool bread in loaf pan for 1 hour on a wire rack. (Forgot this part and when I removed the bread, it broke apart, so I put it back into the pan)

Step 11: Remove loaf from pan and cool completely

Glaze

Step 1: In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and 1 Tbsp. grapefruit juice

Step 2: Stir in additional 1/2 tsp. of juice to achieve a thick, but pourable consistency.

Step 3: Add 1/2 tsp. of juice in drops if necessary.

Step 4: Place a piece of foil beneath the wire rack.

Step 5: Drizzle glaze over the top of the loaf.

Step 6: Allow the glaze to set before slicing.

Fouace Nantaise

Coming across a brioche recipe that looked really pretty I wanted to make it sometime soon. It’s a french brioche made in Nantes, France. It’s suppose to be in the shape of a star, but seriously I first thought it was a flower. Oh well it’s still quite pretty to look at in any sense. The bread is light and soft on the inside and a hard crust. Perfect for some a bread pudding or topped with jam. I found the recipe for it at FOUACE NANTAISE – a taste of home. I am going to recreate this bread, but with a few changes to some ingredients. Since some of the ingredients I am unable to find in town.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided and more for kneading
  • 1 pkg. instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg, for egg wash, lightly beaten

Step 1: In a medium bowl, add 1 cup flour, yeast, and 1 Tbsp sugar.

Step 2: Pour in warm milk and stir briefly just to well all ingredients.

Step 3: Allow to proof for 30-40 minutes, or until doubled in size, puffy, and bubbly. (Next time I will just proof without the flour)

Step 4: While yeast is proofing, in a large bowl, add in the rest of the flour, salt, remaining sugar, butter, water, juice, and 4 eggs.

Step 5: Stir with a wooden spoon until all the dry ingredients are moistened and well blended.

Step 6: Add in the yeast mixture.

Step 7: Stir together until well blended. (I had to add 4-5 handfuls of flour to become solid enough to knead)

Step 8: Scrape the sticky dough onto a well-floured surface.

Step 9: Knead the dough, while adding additional flour, until dough is no longer sticky and is soft, smooth, and elastic.

Step 10: Carefully divide dough into 6 equal portions.

Step 11: Form into balls.

Step 12: Make a flow design with the balls on a parchment lined baking sheet (Don’t worry about gaps and try to keep it center)

Step 13: Cover lightly with plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel.

Step 14: Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Step 15: Preheat oven to 350°F

Step 16: Brush the dough with the egg wash.

Step 17: Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a deep golden brown color. (Branches of the star will have started to pull away from center and if you tap the bottom it should sound hollow.)

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