Baking At High Altitudes
High altitude affects yeast doughs because the lower air pressure allows the yeast to rise 25 to 50 percent faster, and the drier air makes the flour drier.
To fix this, decrease the amount of yeast in the recipe by 25%, and adjust the water and flour as necessary to get a dough with the correct consistency.
Rising times are also much shorter at higher altitudes, so do not go by rising times rather, by sight.
You can also give the dough one extra rise by punching it down twice before forming it.
Or, if you want to slow the rise, you can cover the dough and place it in the refrigerator for its first rise, giving the dough more time to develop. However, it will rise much slower.
Baking In Souper Cubes
When I’m placing the dough in the Souper Cubes® trays, I try to have it only fill up to about the half-way point as it will continue to rise in the oven as its baking.
I recommend baking in your 1cup or 2cup Souper Cubes® trays and letting cool completely before taking the loaves out. Once cool, I flip the trays upside down overr a clean counter or cutting board and gently push on the bottom of each well so that the loaves pop out.
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My Favorite Challah Recipe – NYT Cooking
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Why Make This Challah
- This is my version of the recipe with milk and honey as shown in the video. The progress pictures below use water and butter similar to traditional challah because Jews do not eat dairy and meat together.
- As you can see in my video and step-by-step progress pictures, the recipe is simple and the process is like any other bread, except that it’s braided.
- The timeline and process for making this challah bread is quite straightforward. It takes about 2 ½ to 3 hours in total.
- Make the dough – 10 minutes
- First rise – 60 minute
- Shape the loaf – 15 minutes
- Proof the bread – 45 minutes
- Bake the bread – 25 minutes
What Is Challah Bread
Challah is a rich, traditional Jewish bread served on the Sabbath or to celebrate holidays. Challah is a made with eggs, a little sugar, and some oil, along with common bread ingredients of water, flour, yeast and salt. Because of the added eggs and fat, this challah recipe has a rich flavor and wonderful texture that makes it perfect for Monte Cristo Sandwiches, french toast, or bread pudding!
Challah bread is most often braided into long six-strand braids or round braided loaves. Then the loaves are brushed with an egg wash two times which gives wonderful color to these stunning loaves.
We like to eat one of the loaves with dinner when it’s freshly made and save the other one to use for something else later. Like many bread recipes, this challah bread is best when fresh, within the first day or two, but it freezes beautifully as well. You can freeze challah bread for up to 1 month wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Just let it thaw at room temperature for a few hours before slicing.
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How Hot Is Too Hot
Think about it like this, if you can stick your finger in the water and leave it there for 5 seconds comfortably its good. If not, its too hot.
Youll know that your yeast is alive when it starts to bubble up and foam or when your dough doubles in size.
If your dough does not rise, you have to restart with fresh yeast. There is no resurrecting dead yeast.
Lets move on!
S For Making The Challah Braid
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The Best Challah Recipe
This challah recipe showcases a 6 strand braid with a sweet cinnamon sugar topping. With a video tutorial and an easy recipe to follow, you can skip the trip to the bakery and make your own!
Have you ever felt intimidated by braiding challah? Or feel personally victimized by a yeast dough recipe? I cant tell you how many times people tell me they are afraid of making a recipe because it requires yeast.
Im here to tell you that it is not that scary and that you, yes you, can do it.
Bread Flour Vs All Purpose Flour
Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose, which helps with gluten development.
Some recipes call for it if an especially chewy texture is desired. It will also produce a heavier and denser loaf.
All-purpose flour has a lower protein content, but can generally be substituted for bread flour.
I almost never use anything other than all-purpose flour, including in bread recipes. I like it because its inexpensive and extremely versatile.
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How To Serve Challah Bread
My favorite way to serve Challah Bread is to toast the slices, and then serve them with jam spread on top and a drizzle of honey.
Challah bread is great for sandwiches, actually at the Jewish Bakery I used to work at, we made them into rolls for the sandwiches that we served at the deli.
Since I made 9 loaves of challah for the video and for the pictures for this post, I have turned one loaf into garlic croutons to eat with soup yesterday.
I sliced the loaf into crouton size pieces, then mixed in a bowl with olive oil and a touch of pink salt.
Then I baked in the 350ºF oven for 20 minutes, stirring in between to bake evenly. And then I removed from the oven and mixed the croutons with garlic powder, and some other spices!
We have also made french toast yesterday, and other suggestions are:
- bread pudding
Best Challah Ever A Step By Step Guide
The first time I made challah I nearly cried. Ok, not nearly. I full-fledged cried. I was expecting instant success because I did everything right. However, I was left with dense , crumbly , tasteless poor excuses for braided bread undeserving of being called “challah”. I was traumatized for a bit and swore off the whole thing because, frankly, I don’t handle failure all that well.
My sister, Goldie, makes the most amazing challah known to man and eventually after watching her make it a few times, I decided to take another stab at it. Success!! They weren’t gorgeous and I needed some practice but they earned their way into my heart and I felt like I could finally do this. Finally! Fluffy, sweet goodness! This is her killer recipe. Thanks Goldie!!
Few things in the kitchen are more intimidating than working with yeast. It kinda smells weird and if you haven’t worked with it, it can be hard to tell what’s right and what’s not. There’s fresh and there’s dried and there are those packet thingies. Rapid rising, active dry, instant. Ahhh!! Take a deep breath, I got your back. Let’s walk through this.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
After 10 proofing minutes are up, your yeast will look like this.
Add the yeast mixture and continue mixing by hand until the ingredients are all well incorporated.
- 4 Tbsp active dry yeast
- 5 cups warm water
- 5 lbs high gluten flour + more as needed
- 1 cup sugar
- 1¼ cup vegetable oil
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What Does Challah Bread Taste Like
Many people compare challah and brioche because they are very similar. Both are enriched yeast dough made with eggs, with a similar sweetness, golden shell, and pillow-like texture. For added flavor and texture, sprinkle on some sesame seeds or poppy seeds before baking.
The most significant difference is that Challah is part of the Jewish culture and typically made with oil to keep it kosher. To keep Kosher, dairy and meats are not to be eaten together.
Braiding Gluten Free Challah Bread Strands Into A Loaf
You can braid gluten free challah bread in a 3-strand, 4-strand, or even a 6-strand loaf. The braiding technique begins the same way as any braided bread recipebut the handling of the dough requires some special care.
Ive used a 3-strand braid here because its the simplest . If the 3 strands side by side are in places 1, 2, and 3, the braiding process is:
- 1 over 2, and return old 2 to 1 spot
- 3 over 2, and return old 2 to 3 spot
- Repeat until you reach the end of the braid.
Do not ever pull on the strands, though. They must not fray. Place them where you want them, overlapping them carefully and with intention.
Of course, if youd prefer, you can use a challah mold pan and place the unshaped dough into the pan to rise and then bake.
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How To Make Challah Bread
The reason this is the best challah bread is not only that it tastes delicious, but it is easier to make than it looks. I know it might sound intimidating, but you will be surprised at how simple challah is to make.
You make the dough just like any old bread dough: proof the yeast in a little water and sugar, then mix in the remaining ingredients and knead until smooth. Then let it rise, braid the dough, and brush with egg wash before baking.
The only tricky part is creating the six-strand braid, which I’ll admit can be a little bit of a challenge the first time you try it. But I’ve included some step-by-step pictures below that will hopefully help with that!
Really though, it’s not as difficult as it might seem and only takes a minute or two to braid a loaf once you have done it once or twice. And if you really struggle with it, you could always just do a three-strand braid and call it good. I won’t judge.
Star Water Challah Recipe
1 1/2 Tablespoons salt
Optional: Egg for brushing Challahs
Pour lukewarm water should feel warm to the touch into mixing bowl and sprinkle yeast over water. Add sugar. Let mixture stand for seven minutes. Add oil and salt plus half the flour and mix for five minutes. Then add remaining flour and knead for 10 minutes. Allow dough to rest for five minutes. Then knead for two more minutes and transfer dough to large mixing bowl.
Spray top with cooking oil and turn to coat both sides. Cover dough with your Challah Dough Cover. * Set dough in a warm place and allow to rise for one hour or until doubled in bulk. Take Challah.
Divide into four pieces for large Challahs or six pieces for small Challahs. Form Challahs and let rise for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350º F. Optional: Brush Challahs with beatenegg and sprinkle your choice of toppings. Bake in preheated oven,for one hour rotating trays halfway through baking.
* Remember to snap a photo 🙂 and email it to .
Adapted from The Bais Yaakov Cookbook.
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Easy Classic Homemade Challah Bread
Back around Rosh Hashanah, I had a Instagram story with this easy, homemade Challah recipe.
I had promised to share this traditional Jewish bread the next day
However, I never got around to it!
So, todays the day Im finally posting this the best homemade Challah bread recipe.
I hope that you enjoy this!
What To Do With Leftover Challah Bread
Besides just eating it slathered with butter and jam, I love making sandwiches with challah bread. Its really good with thin-sliced roast beef or turkey, or with tuna, egg, or chicken salad.
Its also really good as French toast! Or try baking it up into this delicious casserole- its a great way to serve a crowd for breakfast or brunch, with minimal effort: French Toast Casserole.
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How To Rise Bread Faster
I often find myself running late and need to rise dough faster, or sometimes, in the winter, I dont have a warm place and the dough take forever to rise. So, I let my dough rise in a warm oven.
What I do is preheat the oven to its lowest temperature and turn it off. Then, I cover the dough with a damp towel and place the oven.
This trick works for me every time. On occasion, I may need to remove the dough and preheat the oven another time or two, but usually just once does the trick.
The down side of this process is that some bakers feel it doesnt allow for flavors to really develop. Personally, I never noticed much of a difference.
Add An Egg Wash Before Baking
An egg wash is just a beaten egg with either water or milk. Here, were using water to keep it dairy free easily.
After the braided raw dough has risen, we brush the egg wash on top of the braids and all along the perimeter. The egg wash helps the braids brown so beautifully, and keeps the dough from breaking through the surface during its oven rise.
Try to avoid letting the egg wash pool in the space between the braids. We want that portion to rise freely.
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Easiest Challah Bread Recipe
Have you been intimidated by the pretty challah? Not any more. Today, I share with you the easiest three-braid challah bread recipe you will ever make. This recipe uses just six ingredients, which are regular pantry staples and the process is surprisingly simple and easy.
Give Your Gluten Free Challah Bread Dough Time To Rise
Yeast bread dough rises faster in warm temperatures closer to 80°F that arent drafty. It rises more slowly in colder temperatures.
It also must be covered properly as it rises, so the moisture in the dough doesnt evaporate. If the moisture evaporates, the dough will be too stiff and the yeast will not grow properly.
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Once The Dough Is Ready Transfer To A Large Bowl And Let Rest Until Doubled In Size Then Punch Down And Knead By Hand For 1 Minute
For this step, youll want to form your dough into a ball and place in a large bowl. To make sure the dough doesnt stick to the bowl, you can spread some vegetable oil or flour along it. Then cover with plastic wrap or a towel and place in a warm spot.
Typically, it takes me about 90 minutes for the dough to double in size.
Traditional Braided Challah Bread Recipe Make This Soft Slightly Sweet Enriched Bread In One Afternoon Video Tutorial Shows How To Braid
Today I am so happy to be sharing one of my top favorites: Challah bread!
I love this bread so much, for so many reasons! Its soft and a little sweet, with a golden yellow color and an airy, springy texture. Not to mention its just gorgeous to look at. Youll know challah when you see it- by its distinctive braided loaf shape.
Challah is an enriched bread, which means that in addition to water, yeast, and flour, it also has eggs and additional fat added to it. Its similar to Hawaiian rolls, babka, and sticky buns in this way.
Its these added ingredients that give enriched breads their moist, soft, and extra-flavorful quality.
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