Tuesday, December 8, 2009


The one and only Mizfit inspires me with her fitness thoughts and ideas, and especially the example she sets with her family - she's all about being real and caring about the things that really matter to me as well. She happens to be Jewish, and was talking about making challah bread with her daughter in a recent post...and it got me thinking that I hadn't had challah in years and years...mostly as it takes a lot of kneading to get it right. I read up a bit on the tradition of challah, and I really like the idea and the attitude that goes into making challah weekly for your family to enjoy together on shabbat. My friend Eleanor used to make it and it was yummy. I don't like kneading bread so I've never tried.
If you've never had challah, it's a slightly sweet, rich, eggy bread, often made with poppy seeds. Depending on the time of year it's formed into various shapes.

Now that I have a bread maker -Bwaha! No kneading for me :)
So I thought, hey, why not try it out?

I found a simple challah recipe that would work in a breadmaker and I tossed the following ingredients into the bread robot on the dough cycle and let it go for 1 and a half hours:

1 cup warm water
21⁄2 teaspoons yeast
2 eggs (whisked together)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/4 cups bread flour

Once it was done the dough cycle (manually it would be kneading ~10 minutes, and first rise of about an hour) I divided the recipe in half (it's for 2 smaller loaves) and froze half for another time. The machine was struggling towards the end as it's a thick heavy dough. Glad it was him and not me!
I divided the dough into 3 pieces and rolled them out into log shapes and rolled them in poppy seeds. I wet the ends with water and then made a nice braided bread and let it rise for about 40 minutes. Then it was baked for 25 minutes at 350 degrees...and voila!

It was delicious. I will definitely make it again. J and I loved it just the way it was. It was delicious...we went through a whole loaf by the next afternoon...!

I put it on the baking stone to rise and bake, but I think next time I'll just put it on a cookie sheet, as the bottom could have used a bit more browning. Apparently you can add nuts or sun dried tomatoesto this recipe and it works great. I look forward to more bread experiments.



Corey said...

Yum Yum. Looks great.

Geosomin said...

Made the other half of this dough batch last night. Pulled it feom the freezer and thawed it in the fridge and then let it sit to rise for 4 hours on the counter after i rolled it out and braided it (it was cold so it took a while). Baked it on a cookie sheet this time and it was PERFECT.