After one year and 104 recipes, I finished the Brooks Bakes Bread Project on March 27, 2012. You can still find me baking and cooking at my new blog, Tangled Up In Food.

Categories: Challah

April 6, 2011

by stacy
Published on: April 6, 2011
Categories: Challah, Egg Breads
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Today was a somewhat frustrating day at work, plagued by computer problems. I couldn’t wait to get home, unwind, and bake some challah. I have made challah twice before, and I love everything about it–the process of braiding it, the smell as it bakes, and the delicious taste from the hint of eggs.

Here are the ingredients:

Challah Ingredients

This recipe required more yeast than I have ever used, 3 packets. It does yield two loaves, but the dough seemed to rise much faster than my other challah recipe (from the Betty Crocker cookbook). Beard estimates the first rising time as 1 1/2 to 2 hours–mine was ready in only 45 minutes. I divided the dough into six not-very-equal portions with a pizza cutter. Then I spent several minutes moving bits of dough from one lump to another, moving them back again, and then holding one in each hand to try to weigh them against each other.  I recommend using a kitchen scale instead, if you’re smart enough to have one (of course, I’m not).  I finally got the portions close enough, and rolled them out and braided them.  As you can tell, one loaf ended up larger than the other due to my dough equalizing difficulties.

Challah Before Second Rising

The second rising also took 45 minutes. I brushed the loaves with egg yolk and sprinkled them with poppy seeds, unfortunately not very evenly. Tonight was not the night for consistency.

Challah After Second Rising

The amazing smell of challah started wafting through our house in less than 10 minutes. Unfortunately, I left the bread in the oven a bit too long. The recipe called for a minimum 35 minute baking time, so I set the timer for 30 minutes.  I checked on the loaves a few minutes early, but the crusts were already over-browned. The bread does still taste alright. However, my other challah recipe yields a much sweeter bread–1/4 cup of sugar is used for one loaf, compared Beard’s 1 tablespoon of sugar for 2 loaves. I like a sweeter challah, which preferably I haven’t over-baked. Tonight’s challah wasn’t a total loss, but I didn’t quite get the the results I had hoped for either.


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Loaves baked   Loaves to go
About the Baker
I'm a paralegal living and working in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. Besides baking, blogging, and eating bread, I love knitting and enjoying the Minnesota outdoors. My husband, Mike, is the Brooks Bakes Bread website developer, bread photographer, and chief taste tester.
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