I think the last time I posted I was struggling to catch up on my BBA challenges. About a month has passed, and it’s the same old story. This time I can blame (1) vacations and (2) being foolish enough to have taken my vacation too early and therefore trying to juggle everyone else’s work during their vacations!
If you’ve been following others, it’s no surprise that the next bread is Challah. I have never made Peter Reinhart’s recipe before (though I have made Mark Bittman’s).
Here’s the first rise of the dough–got some practice forming the boule shape here! (I think I developed the gluten pretty well this time–look at that bubble trying to burst through the skin of the dough!)
Then, subdividing the dough into three equal sized balls which proof again. (You can make and extra-elaborate challah with a mini-braid on top of the main braid–but this was enough to handle for me!) Are they three equally-sized balls? We shall see.
The balls are then rolled out and braided. Interestingly, you start braiding from the center to one end, then rotate and braid the other side. I’m not sure why it’s done this way, and I had to look at the photos carefully in the book, but it ultimately worked out. You then coat with an egg wash. You can also see from this photo that one “strand” of the braid was a wee bit hefty.
Photos after proofing–um, can I call this an “abstract” challah shape?
We started eating the brioche before I took a photo of the final loaf, but you can get an idea from this. The bread turned out well, and evenly cooked despite its lopsided state. I am not a huge fan of challah personally, it tastes a little bland to me and perhaps a bit too eggy. Don’t get me wrong, it was eaten pretty quickly. But if you’re like me, there’s still an excellent way to deal with lots of challah–
Challah French Toast! (With new england maple syrup, of course).