Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Daring Baker's Challenge May 2012 -Challah - The Jewish bread

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 breads.

I have been working on my biceps, triceps or what ever that is !! the first set of challah that i baked was quite hard, dense and a heavy loaf :(( now you know why I have been lifting weights, lol!! I did not know what else to do with the loaf but use them as weights. :))hehe!! After the disaster, I picked an easy recipe. Pati's easyChallah and as the name suggest, it was an easy recipe and lot of fun. While I was on the quest for a perfect recipe, I happened to come across the braided stuffed bread from - Dishes from my kitchen , I fell in love with her braided bread. Pavithra is one of my favorite blogger and I love Dishes from my kitchen. I took Pati's challah recipe recommended by Ruth and used Pavithra's ( dishes from my kitchen) stuffed braiding technique  and the result was amazing !! For the second loaf, I just baked a simple 3 strand braided bread. Loved both the loafs. It was a great breakfast hit for memorial day. Request for an action replay from the family confirms 5 stars :)) 

4 cups  all-purpose  flour

1 cup  warm water

1 package (2¼ teaspoons) package rapid rise yeast

½  cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp  salt

1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water for glazing. 

Measure flour, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer) combine water and yeast, allow to sit 5 minutes until foamy.

Add 1 ½ cups of the flour mixture to the water and yeast mixture, beat until well combined. Cover with a dish towel, let stand 30 min.

Add two eggs to the dough, beat again.By hand or with your dough hook knead in the remaining flour mixture. Knead approximately 10 minutes.

Transfer to oiled bowl, cover, let rise one hour.

Punch down dough, knead approximately 3 minutes.

Divide dough in two. Shape each half as desired (3, 4, or 6 strand braid).

Place loaves on parchment covered or greased cookie sheets, cover with a towel, allow to rise one hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush loaves with egg wash.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees, bake until golden crust forms (about 20-25 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack to cool. 

Here is the video for 3 strand braiding !! Thanks Ruth.

 Stuffed braided bread  

The dough is the same as the plain easy challah

For the stuffing

1 small onion
1/2 cup paneer
1/2 cup boiled potatoes peeled and cubed
1/2 cup green sliced bell pepper
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp red chili
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp oil
salt to taste

In a pan heat oil and saute the onion and bell pepper.  Add the paneer, potatoes and all the dry masala. Keep aside.

For stuffing and braiding, follow the picture below. Since I was baking in the night, ( so we cld have the bread for breakfast the next morning), the pictures are in low light !! sorry about that.

Sweet bread with a nice spicy filling - no wonder it was a best seller!! I am sure we are going to have a repeat of this breakfast for many weekends. Thanks to daring kitchen and Ruth for hosting!! 

And yes the bread was not at all dense, it was light and airy :)))

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