Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Challah - a beautiful braided bread

Challah is a Jewish braided bread made and eaten on Sabbath and some other Jewish holidays. Most versions I have seen of this bread are sweet, with cinnamon and raisins being popular additions to the dough. Since I made a sweet bread yesterday, I have made a non sweet version of the Challah for my second post for Blogging Marathon #64.

What you need :
All purpose flour - 2 cups
Lukewarm water - 1/2 cup
Instant yeast - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Oil - 1/8 cup
Egg - 1

In a large bowl, whisk together the yeast, water, oil and egg.
Add the flour to this, a little at a time and knead to a smooth pliable dough. My dough was very sticky and I had to add an additional 3 tbsp. of flour to make it smooth and non sticky.
Transfer the dough to a well oiled bowl and  turn it over a few times so it is coated with oil on all sides. Cover and let it rise until doubled in volume (about an hour).
Punch down the dough and separate it into three portions. Roll each portion into a longish rope (about 15 inches or so). These will form the three parts of the braid.
At this point, you can make a savory stuffing and stuff it into each segment. I made a really tasty tomato, onion and garlic filling. However, for some reason, after I flattened one of the strands and put in some of the filling, I just wasn't able to close the ends together. No matter how hard I tried, the ends just wouldn't stick together. Not sure why that happened. So I took the stuffing out, patted the dough with some paper towels to absorb the extra moisture from the stuffing and then proceeded to braid the bread.
To braid the bread, place the three dough ropes side by side and pinch the top of the three ropes together. Now, start braiding the bread just as you would braid hair or rope until you reach all the way to the bottom of the strands. In the end, knot the three ropes together and tuck them under so that you have a neat braid.
Cover with a wet towel and leave it to rise for 30 - 40 minutes.
Brush some milk on top of the bread and sprinkle the top generously with fresh/dried herbs. I used dried Italian seasoning.
Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes or until the top turns a nice golden brown.
Slice and serve when warm.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM


vaishali sabnani said...

Wow the bread looks so cool, very well braided..beautifully baked.

Srivalli said...

This has been on my to do list for so long Jay, infact the first homebaked bread was a capsicum stuffed challah that Viji baked..I can still remember how I drooled over it..yours has come out well too..sad the stuffing didnt' stay intact!

Usha Rao said...

Bread is beautifully shaped and perfectly baked.

Gayathri Kumar said...

Lovely braided challah. Looks so beautiful..

Sarita said...

Well baked braided bread.. Looks yummy.

Varadas Kitchen said...

Challah is one of favorite breads to bake. If you let the challah over proof then you will get even coloring throughout the bread.

Priya Suresh said...

Well baked and superb braided bread, challah is always my favourite.

Sapana Behl said...

That is perfectly baked challah bread.Looks beautiful too as the name says.

Sowmya :) said...

This challah looks delicious...want to tear away a piece now

Harini-Jaya R said...

Beautifully baked bread.

Pavani N said...

Beautifully made braided bread. Looks amazing.

Pavani N said...

Perfectly braided and beautifully baked challah. Looks amazing.