Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Challah ~ Six Strand Braided Bread


I have been seeing Challah bread in the blogosphere quite often these days, with the holidays on. That reminded me, I had still not given it another try after my failure with the six strand braiding. After multiple failures, braiding it with 6 strands, I unbraided it and finally went ahead with the normal 3 braids and baked it. I don't know what went wrong, whether it was me playing around with the dough for some time or the cold weather or may be just that particular day(sometimes I feel things turn out bad just because of a particular day as one is not in a mood to cook but still went ahead trying something new) - the bread was not airy and uncooked in the center but hard like rock on its outside. In short, it was a disaster.

I never gave it a try again. But these days when I saw Challah bread frequently in my blog feed, I pushed myself to make it again and I am happy I did. It smelled so good, tasted good, either with or even without butter/jam and it made up for a yummy french toast for the next day breakfast.




After I was done half way braiding, I grinned ear to ear and got so excited that I messed up towards the end(you can see it in the picture). But I consoled myself saying "Look at the best part (the first half of the bread) looks good." and went ahead baking it as it is, because I feared that if I unbraid and try it again, who knows if I get it right again. Why am I so obsessed about the 6 braids ? Lets just say I just wanted to learn it. I don't have enough hair to try it out there and hence the bread got to be the victim :). I would be making it often, is what I have decided but with 3 or 6 braids is still undecided :). Here is the recipe for the Challah. 









Ingredients

  1. 1 tbsp of dry active yeast
  2. 1 tbsp of sugar
  3. 3/4 cup of warm water(not very hot)
  4. 1/4 cup of olive oil
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 1/4 cup of sugar
  7. 1 tbsp of salt
  8. 4 cups of flour
  9. 1 egg for egg wash
Method



  • In a large bowl, add the yeast, 1 tbsp of sugar(Ingredient 2) and warm water and mix it and leave it for about 10 minutes for the yeast to rise.
  • Then add olive oil, eggs, sugar and salt. Mix it well.
  • Then gradually add the flour. Mix it together.
  • When the dough starts to hold together , its time for kneading. So, remove the dough on to a floured kitchen countertop and knead it well until its smooth and elastic. 
  • Then remove the dough on to the bowl and cover it and leave it to rise for about an hour or two as required. When it rises, punch down the dough and let it rise again and then again punch the dough and let it rise again. In total the rising of the dough happens thrice.
  • Now form a log of the dough and cut it into n(the number of strands like 3 or 6) number of equal portions  that you are gonna braid with. Now take each portion of dough and roll it into strands of equal length and thickness. 
  • Align all the strands parallel to each other and pinch in just one end of all strands together. Braid it towards its other end and tuck it altogether.
  • Beat the egg for the egg wash and brush it all on top of the dough. let it rise for another hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F. 
  • After the dough has risen, give it another coating of the egg wash and pop it into the oven.
  • Bake it for 30-40 minutes until they are golden brown on top and cooked on its inside. 
  • Remove it from the oven and let it cool. 
  • Serve it with omelets, make French Toast out of it, spread some butter and have it...the choice is yours. Either ways it is gonna taste great.
Tips
  1. Do not use hot water for the yeast to rise. The water should be warm enough to let the yeast rise in it.
  2. Braid the dough gently. Trying to braid it very tight might lead the bread to remain uncooked in the center. 
  3. While you egg wash it, make sure you cover all the bends and curves on the bread evenly, to give a nice finish to the bread.
  4. There are many videos on youtube that you could look for braiding of breads. If you would like to try braiding it with 6 strands, this link could be helpful.









30 comments:

  1. Congrats to your successful attempt and the bread looks perfect ! I still need some courage to try it .....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sapana ...well, can't say a complete success, because I did mess up towards the end of the braiding..he he

      Delete
  2. I know it's full of challah and I want to bake it again :) love it and yours look perfect. Loved the first pic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rekha :).. yeah I know they are delicious to have that I am looking forward to baking it again too

      Delete
  3. haha,... i like that braiding joke... dun have enough hair!!! :P the challah looks so good... but did u burn the top slightly, darling??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have had these at a brunch place here and they looked dark on the top...also when i search it over the internet, I see authentic challah breads being dark on the top...I wanted to recreate the same by applying multiple layers of egg wash to get that dark colour... but it seemed burnt to u :(

      Delete
  4. wow, it has come out so gud, really tempting dear...

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  5. Anupa,I am so reminded of the way my daughter used to braid Rapunzel's hair kandaal kastam thonum for the doll :) there is not one thing in this house that has gone thru so much torture ! But now I think i will try doing 6 strand braid on it first then go for the real challah.:))
    I like the dark tone of the bread than the light one it actually shows the bump better.Looks perfect to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank u so much Meena :)

      he he... ya go ahead and try it on Rapunzel first...... 6 or 3 strand ayalum, simple bread'inde shape ayalum... bread would taste the same....pinne chumma oru rasam alle 6 strand braiding :) so try it

      Delete
  6. I have to try the challah one of these days. Just like you, I am putting this into the back burner for a quite while, but your post is impelling me to try it!! The bread looks soft and perfect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Shibi... try it.....it would be fun if u involve your kids too :D

      Delete
  7. braided perfect and baked perfect...with that jam on top...your click is tempting to the core

    ReplyDelete
  8. They look well braided n perfectly baked :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. lol about ur hair... I doubt whether I have enough hair to try a 6 braid on my hair as well ,used to have thickkk hair but this hard water has taken it all..he he. Anyway ur bread looks super, this is something I have been seeing a lot and u have definitely inspired me to try it myself.they look so soft inside..grt job :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. you are excellent pro''photographer...loved all your clicks...they are epic..really i mean it!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank u Suja...I am just learning to click...sometimes they turn ok enough to make it to the blog...:)

      Delete
  11. Anupa, this looks gorgeous, feeling hungry looking at the bread, wish can have a slice (or four ;) ) with some butter and jam.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I did challah a while back, not quite as beautiful as your braid, Anupa. And pictures have done justice. Wonderful job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank u Tisa.... well it was not my first attempt either and the messed up portion of the braiding just don't show up in the pic so well :P

      Delete
  13. Bread Looking só soft n fluffy..perfectly baked out n iam lit bit lãzuda to do to this kind of bakings.but second clik is too temptmg.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Challah looks so soft and with a perfect braid...Beautifully clicked pics Anupa..

    ReplyDelete
  15. Gorgeous clicks Anupa ! I dont see any mess in the braids. The challah looks so perfect ! lovely colors !

    ReplyDelete
  16. perfectly baked bread. Love the colour of the bread.

    ReplyDelete

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