Friday, January 13, 2012

Challah Bread. By Danny.

It's amazing how much better this bread looks
when I tell you that my 16 year old son made it.
The youth in our ward had an International Cook-off this week.  Daniel wasn't very inclined to make anything - but he reckoned without me.  I informed him that if he was going to sample other people's cooking, it was only fair that he take an entry.  Since he's not really big into very many 'international' foods, I figured some type of bread would be a safe option.  Besides, I had all the ingredients on hand. He made this almost entirely by himself - I did stand over him...and helped a bit with the braiding. 

He came in third.

Challah in a Bread Machine
(recipe adapted from the Sunset Cook Book of Breads - which I've owned forever)

1 package active dry yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup each sugar and canola oil
2 eggs
2-3 drops yellow food coloring
5 (ish) cups of all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
poppy seeds

Add water, yeast, salt, sugar, oil, eggs and finally flour to your bread machine.  Set on 'dough' setting.  Come back in 1 1/2 hours and dump it out on a floured counter.  Pinch off about 3/4 cup of dough and set it aside.
Divide remaining dough into 4 equal parts; roll each between your hands to form a strand about 20 inches long. Place the four strips lengthwise on a greased baking sheet, pinch tops together, and braid as follows: pick up strand on right, bring it over next one, under the third, and over the fourth. Repeat, always starting with strand on the right, until braid is complete. Pinch ends together.
Divide reserved dough into 3 pieces. Roll each about 5-6 inches long. Make a small 3 strand braid and lay n top center of large braid. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about an hour (until almost doubled).
Using a soft brush or your fingers, spread egg yolk mixture carefully and evenly over braids; sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake at 350' for about 30-35 minutes.

I think Danny was a little shy on the flour, so his braids were pretty soft and hard to keep even - but considering this might have been his first loaf of bread, he did great.

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