It’s almost getting to the point where I feel that I’m cheating to keep including the challah bread as a bake, but as long as I continue fiddling with it and learning different things, I’m thinking it still counts as a separate bake.
This time I had a few more observations:
- Instead of measuring out yeast, I just used 2 packets of active dry yeast, which by eyeball, seemed about right. This was fine.
- I let both the first and second rise go for longer than recommended. I believe this helped ensure a complete rise and there was less rising in the oven as a result.
- I used a heavier hand to brush the top with egg, which resulted in a browner top.
- I tried a different method for braiding one of the loaves. This method, which I read about online, suggested that you divide the bread into 6 equal pieces and then roll each piece out into snakes, which you then connect and braid together. I found this to be tedious and way more fussy than my usual method, which is simply to shape a big rectangle and use kitchen scissors to cut six roughly equivalent strands. The snake method resulted in a less pretty bread as well. Not gonna use that method again probably.
- I included a slight bit more sugar than usual (less than a tablespoon extra probably) and it seemed like a good idea, still not too sweet, but a touch sweeter and tastier than previous versions.
- Finally: I’m still having issues with stickiness. I’m not sure if I’m just not using enough flour? I always end up turning out huge amounts of flour onto the kneading surface. I think next time I’m going to try just starting out with more flour in the recipe to begin with, which will hopefully avoid some of the mess and sticky dough issues.
Just working on my challah skills basically. I used the same recipe as the previous times, again doubling it so I get two cute loaves instead of just one. I’m still working on the braiding so that’s why I tried two different styles.
This time the rise seemed a little slower – not sure if it’s because I switched yeast brands, possibly. It continued rising in the oven, which is ok.
There was also a slightly weird flavor. I’m fairly sure it was from the countertop I kneaded it on, which may have had some trace soap on it. Oops! Anyway it was still good enough to eat, yay challah.
When I first wrote up my challah bread efforts, I mentioned that I was planning to make French toast but accidentally ate all of the bread instead of French toasting it oops. So I had to try again. This time I also doubled the recipe in order to help prevent accidentally eating it all. I braided the second loaf in six strands which I was worried was going to be a big mess, but actually ended up looking really cute & fancy!
French toast should be happening later today. Other notes about this recipe:
- I made sure to proof the yeast in advance and I didn’t have any issues with rising that I had had last time. Pretty sure the problem was that I made the water too hot.
- I used slightly less flour than I had the first time, which meant the dough was a little stickier? I was worried about it at first, but it seemed to bake up nicely anyway.
This is another mini update about a mini bake. I had a dream of surprising my man with French toast this weekend and someone told me that challah makes the best French toast. So I decided to take the plunge and really try baking with yeast like I said I would in my 2018 Baking Resolutions.
I was afraid of ruining it and wasting a lot of ingredients, so I found this mini challah recipe which felt more doable.
- It didn’t rise at first, and I suspect I murdered the yeast with too-hot water. I mixed in more yeast with more water and sugar to proof and then added it into the dough along with more flour. It WORKED! Obviously it messed up the overall proportions of the recipe so I wouldn’t recommend planning on doing it that way, but it was cool to discover a way to salvage a failure into something edible.
- Aside from the issue with rising I had no other real problems with the recipe. It’s honestly pretty simple and straightforward.
- It was late and I had had several beers by the time it finally came out of the oven but I found it quite tasty. I ate half of it before my husband came home from his business trip and most of the rest for breakfast.
- So, the moral to the story is, I’m going to have to make MORE challah bread in order to actually carry out my French toast plan.
- Next time I’d like to make it a little bit… idk, taller? It was good but a little low. Part of that is probably the issues with the rise, though.
- Also I want to learn how to do fancy braids!