Challah

Last week, the bakery boys let me make a dozen or so challahs in their bakery. Which was fun (and nervewracking) but also a big learning curve: doughs do different things when you’re mixing them in a giant mixer, proofing them in a warm bakery and baking them in a big professional oven. It was also really interesting to get a pro baker’s input about the texture, colour, and taste of the bread.

So with many pointers from the lovely Martin, we re-did the challah yesterday, with a totally different dough: more egg, less water, less sugar and oil. It was almost a yeasted pasta dough. It wasn’t ready for baking by the time I had to leave, though, so I went home and tried the recipe at home. Loving the results:

Yesterday’s challahs… a touch underproofed, and possibly too tightly plaited, but still pretty:

I made four and put the other two in the fridge to proof overnight (largely because I ran out of baking time). Took them out this afternoon when I got back from the bakery – and then forgot them on the counter when I went to have a nap. Which turned into a four-hour nap (gloriously).

Despite considerable overproofing on the counter – and rubbish photograph below – these were delicious: sweeter than yesterday’s because of long overnight retardation, and also a much more brioche-like long, strandy crumb.

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About Lisa

I live in South Africa with my husband and two small children, doing things, thinking about things and sometimes writing about them.
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