here's the today's challenge.
My flatmate found out we have a LOT of flour.
Everyone always buys a new package if he/ she only needs 50g.
Now he wants to bake bread.
And we all know what that means, disgusting stuff being wet inside and tasting extremely strong and wrong because he put feta cheese (jeez it must have been rotten, it tasted horrible, I LOVE feta cheese actually) and corgette in.
What can a smart little girl like me do in such cases?
Thinking of my greatgreatgreatgrandmother(s) and make a Challah.
It's obviously a jewish recipe and it's simply wonderful.
It resembles the normal yeast-braid (Hefezopf, levure-tresse) but mustn't be made with milk. It wouldn't be kosher if you eat meat afterwards (no problem for me but since I read an article about milk I feel more lactose intolerant than ever, it questioned why human beings are the only creatures on earth drinking breast milk a) until they're mad old and b) from another species... to realise it was breast milk of cows (yeah obviously -.-" that's milk in general, right? It's for calf, not humans) made me feel all ewwwwwww) and it's healthier, too.
I'll give you the recipe first, pictures will follow.
I guess I am not able to plait the Challah how it's traditionally made but I try my best :)
* 7 cups flour
* 1 pinch salt
* 1/2 cup sugar (or honey, if you want it more sweet, add 1/4 cup more otherwise it won't be sweet at all)
* 2 pkg yeast + 1/3 cup warm water
* 1/2 cup oil
* 4 eggs
* 1 cup boiling water
* 1/2 cup cold water
With those ingredients you will get 3 braidsed loaves depending on your plaiting. It won't be a problem though if you have family because it'll be eaten fast and you have to make some more haha
Beat eggs in a small bowl.
In a large bowl mix oil, sugar and salt.
Add boiling water to large bowl and stir until all is dissolved.
Sprinkle yeast into a measuring cup with 1/3 cup warm water. Wait a few minutes, then stir.
Add cold water to mixture in large bowl. (The stuff in the bowl should now be the right temperature to add yeast. If too hot, wait a few minutes; if too cold, put the bowl in the microwave to heat it. It should be handwarm!!! IMPORTANT!)
Add yeast to large bowl.
Add eggs to large bowl, reserving about 2 tablespoons.
Add flour 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
Turn out dough onto floured board and knead for 5 minutes, adding more flour as needed (but not too much, as long as the dough is elastic you're doing right). Dough is ready if it springs back after being poked with a finger ^^
Put back into bowl, cover with a wet, warm dishtowel, and put in warm oven (heated to 100-130°C, and then turned off beforehand) or a warm place until doubled - about 1 hour.
Turn out onto floured board and knead for 1-2 minutes.
Divide dough into thirds.
Take one of the thirds, and knead for another minute.
Form into 8-12 small "snakes" for little plaits, or 3 large snakes for braid.
Make plaits by knotting each small snake and pinching the ends together.
Place plaits close together pinched-end down in greased pan.
For braids, pinch ends of 3 large snakes together and begin braiding. Pinch ends together when done. Place in greased loaf pan.
Repeat for 2 other thirds. Put formed loaves/plaits into oven (pre-heated and then turned off, as before) for about 45 minutes.
Remove from oven. Turn oven to 180°C.
Brush tops gently with reserved egg mixed with two teaspoons of hot water. Sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame, if desired.
Bake for about 30 minutes (loaves) or 20 minutes (plaits). Times will vary. Watch for moderate browning on top, but be careful not to allow scorching on bottom. If the top gets too dark too soon, cover it with baking paper for the rest of the time.
Remove from pans, and put on dish towels to cool.
ADDITIONALLY YOU CAN PUT SAFFRON (A PINCH) TO THE MIXTURE, MIX IT WITH OIL, SUGAR AND SALT AND GO ON LIKE DESCRIBED!
This is how it shall look like, I'll edit this post and show my own pictures as soon as my Challah is ready :)
I didn't take any pictures, for two reasons:
I didn't charge the battery of my camera early and couldn't make some, secondly it looked... well flat -.- because of the towel I put on the dough while in the oven for another 45 minutes (not baking, waiting!) it looks rather stupid. Flat flat flat. Big though due to the yeast, it looks wrong -.-
Anyway the oven we have is rubbish, too... I might do it again and have to improve what I did (it tastes alright at least haha but I am ashamed of the weird shape although the braids/ plaits looked right together too *sulky*).
So yeah I hope Anne is more successful :)