Six Braid Challah Bread
Recipe Source: The recipes provided for the
challenge came from or were inspired by recipes found through a variety
of online sources (including, but not limited to allrecipes.com). Also
invaluable was the book “A Taste of Challah,” by Tamar Ansh.
Blog-checking lines: May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge
was pretty twisted – Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to
make challah! Using recipes from all over, and tips from “A Taste of
Challah,” by Tamar Ansh, she encouraged us to bake beautifully braided
I have never made braided bread before so I was thrilled when I saw the challenge was Challah. In Finland we have a sweet bread called pulla that is braided (three strands) I saw my mum make it many times when I was a child and always wanted to make some. The final bread is very similar in taste to pulla I was very pleased about that. I decided to do a six strand braid. I was extra careful about making sure that the braids were all the same (size, shape and weight) and that I did a double coating of egg wash. I made a jury-rigged dough proofing cabinet the bread raised in only 45 minutes the final raising took about 20 minutes.
The process of making the bread was very straight forward, it was the braiding that was a little challenging for me, I practised the braiding using strands of playdough (dough made with salt and coloured dye) after a dozen attempts I had the technique down pat, looking at the final result I thought I had done a reasonable job on it for a first attempt. I was fairly pleased with the final outcome, it was only after I had looked at it I realised that I should of made the ropes of dough tapered I had made them absolutely straight and even the entire length of the strand hence the reason why the final challah loaf looks so flatt but I didn't mind that at all. Overall a reasonable job I thought.
The jury-rigged proofing cabinet – fill the sink 5 cm (2 inches) with hot water from the tap. Place a metal pan on the bottom place the bowl with the dough on the pan making sure the bowl doesn't touch the hot water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then cover the sink with newspaper (this traps the warmth and steam) then prove the bread.
Process of rolling out the strands
Starting the six braid challah
The egg-washed proved bread just before going into the oven
The final bread
I liked doing this so much I will try some other shapes again soon.