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Monday, May 16, 2011

Challah Bread: The Secret Recipe Club

It's time once again for The Secret Recipe Club.  Our numbers have tripled since last month.  If you would like to join us, visit this link and fill out the form.  As long as you let Amanda know before the assignments are handed out, you don't have to participate every month.  It's been a lot of fun, though, visiting new blogs and reading all of the great recipes.  This month, I was given Flamingo Musings from which to find a recipe.  I enjoyed  reading through her blog and frankly, was having a hard time choosing until I happened upon her Challah bread.  Challah has been on my culinary bucket list for years and here was a chance to cross it off!  There is something about saying Challah with that guttural "ch," that always makes me smile.

Because this was a spiral bread, I still have to find a braided bread to make someday or better yet, perhaps I will double this recipe and braid it next time.  This was truly a wonderful bread.  It's all rich and egg-y...like a brioche but without the milk.  Anyway, I served it as a side with some beef stew.  My kids went through the first loaf like nobody's business and were well into the second by the time dinner was over.  I will probably toast the rest.
The recipe calls for tenting the bread with a paper sack after 10 minutes.  I did, for about 10 minutes, and then started freaking out that the paper was going to catch on fire in my gas oven, so I removed it after yet another 10 minutes.  I don't think the bread got too brown, so, if you are a worry wart, like me, go ahead and remove it after a bit.

Challah (adapted from Flamingo Musings)
1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp instant yeast
3 whole eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar
4-5 cups flour (I use Blue Bird - it's 100% wheat and comes in a cotton flour sack!)
In a mixing bowl, combine the warm water and the yeast.  Let it bubble and then add the sugar and salt.  Melt the butter in a small microwavable bowl and then add the eggs to the butter to cool it down (make sure it's not so hot that it cooks the eggs, though!).  Add the egg mixture to the yeast mixture and stir a bit.  Add 4 cups of the flour to the dough and stir by hand or use a dough hood attachment on a stand mixer.  Slowly add the last cup until you have a firm, smooth dough.  Knead for 5 minutes in the machine or on a floured surface.  Place in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour.  Punch down and divide in half.  Roll each half into a long snake with one end fatter than the other.  Starting with the fat end roll up in a spiral and place the beehive looking loaves on either a greased baking sheet or a silpat lined one.  Cover and let rise another hour.  Brush with an egg wash (1 egg + 1 tsp water) and sprinkle with poppy seeds.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, tenting with that paper sack after 10 minutes.   Let cool on a wire rack.



54 comments:

Carolyn said...

Gorgeous Challah, Kristen! I have put my name in for the Secret Recipe Club but I seem to have done it too late for this month. Next time!

LDH said...

Gorgeous Bread! It is picture perfect :)

The Harried Cook said...

Beautiful Challah, Kristen! I love the spiral... I have only ever baked the braid and I think this is gorgeous! The Secret Recipe Club sounds so fun! I think I'll go over and join now :) Thanks for sharing!

The Harried Cook said...

Awww shucks... I can't join till I have at least 60 recipes on my blog :( Oh well... I'll check back in a couple of months!

Belinda said...

This is a beautiful challah!! It's adorable.

Joanne said...

Ah challah is absolutely one of my favorite breads and you've done it serious justice here! That loaf looks perfect in every way!

Prathima Rao said...

Gorgeous spiral bread!!!! U did a fantastic job kristen!!
Prathima Rao
Prats Corner

Dan said...

Looks like a great challah. My aunt only made round ones during Rosh Hashanah. She'd use honey instead of sugar for a sweet new year.

RJ Flamingo said...

You did a fabulous job, Kristen! You absolutely nailed it! For future reference, you can indeed braid this bread. You can also make dinner or sandwich rolls with it, adjusting the baking time.

So flattered that you chose one of my favorites!

Shelby said...

Looks great and I am impressed!

Roxan said...

Ooh, the secret recipe club sounds like so much fun! I'd totally join but life has been a whirlwind lately so I worry I wouldn't be able to get my dish done in time.

This bread looks amazing, Kristen! I bet I could eat the whole thing in one sitting. It's amazing how much bread I can eat...

Heavenly Housewife said...

I adore challah bread, and this one came out so beautifully. I doubt you could get better at any bakery.
*kisses* HH

jentsavor said...

Thrilled to have taken part in SRC with you and discovered new blogs!

Emily Malloy said...

Love love love this recipe!

danasfoodforthought said...

I only tried to make challah at home once, and the texture didn't come out right. Based on your description, yours is perfect.... I'll have to try this version!

Jennifurla said...

Its gorgeous, pass some butter and this bread.

Vimitha Anand said...

The break looks too perfect... Would love to have it with a piece of butter or nutella...

Barb, sfo said...

"Culinary bucket list"--I have one of those too, just never put a name to it! And challah is definitely on that list. I like how you made it in a spiral, since the whole "braid" thing is what really keeps me from trying it. Yours turned out beautiful, and I've got this recipe on my CBL now. :)

AM Nichols said...

Your challah is gorgeous! Not too brown at all.

I used to make a braided challah recipe from Bon Appetit (like 20 years ago). It's really fun to make.

Rita said...

Success, it looks beautiful and love the name of your club. would love to make this.
Rita

Sara said...

I love challah - this sounds delicious, yum! Gorgeous shape.

aipi said...

PERFECTION!! The deep golden crust is amazing!
US Masala

Michael Toa said...

Oh wow! The challah bread looks absolutely gorgeous.

Magic of Spice said...

This is such a beautiful Challah bread! Perfection :)

Janis said...

Perfect! I love how your Challah looks (that sounds a little weird) Nice looking challah? Hmmmm, Your Challah rocks? Oh nevermind, you know what I am tryi g to say.

Lisa said...

What a gorgeous loaf of bread. Love that delicious golden brown color.

thenovicehousewife said...

I have had my eyes on Challah bread for a long time. Yours looks great!

Cooking Rookie said...

Beautiful Challah! I love that turban shape. I am off to mix the dough :-)

Jeanette said...

Your Challah came out beautiful! Love the golden brown. I would have done the same thing with the paper!

Nami @ Just One Cookbook said...

Hi Kristen! I highly admire anyone who makes homemade bread But in your case, it's not just a bread, a very gorgeous one! Wonderful post and I wish I can have a piece or even a bite... I'm crazy about very good bread....

Katrina said...

I've never made challah--sure looks good and gorgeous, too! Great job.

Amanda said...

That is a gorgeous loaf of bread! Turned out just beautiful. Thanks for playing along again!

Roxana GreenGirl said...

Your challah looks great. Love the spiral.
Too bad I don't have 60 recipes on my blog, I have to join in few months. Sounds like a lot of fun.

Tessa said...

I've dabbled in bread making a little more this year but have yet to tackle Challah. Yours looks (and sounds) like it turned out great!

gingerbreadbagels said...

Your challah is just gorgeous! It's one of my favorite breads. :)

eggscreamandhoney.com said...

I love Challah bread! It's definitely one of those breads that once you start eating it, you can't stop. Great pick!

Tiffany said...

Gorgeous! And I love the poppy seeds on top!

Cooking Rookie said...

I did make challah yesterday :-). Just had it for breakfast with butter and jam -yum yum! Thanks for the inspiration :-)

Tami said...

Your challah is beautiful! Love your pictures of it.

Ruchi M said...

Looks great! Breads always scare me - but I am going to try and bake one pretty soon!

Sue said...

Challah bread is a favorite of mine, but I've only made it once. I need to bake some again! What a beautiful loaf you made! I need to look into the Secret Recipe Club:)

Katie @ This Chick Cooks said...

That bread looks great. I'm intrigued by the idea of the secret recipe club. Sounds like lots of fun :)

Pacheco Patty said...

Congratulations on making such a beautiful Challah! I know the name Challah makes me smile too;-)

Drick said...

well I guess the secret's out now, this bread looks perfect and not too brown at all... could go through a couple of loaves myself..
hey, I think you will be surprise of the produce available near year round... mostly from southern FL

Delishhh said...

Challah, challah - ohh one of my favorite bread - nice work. I love hopping around seeing what everyone made.

Jill Colonna said...

I really must make this. Your challah bread looks beautiful and love the shape!

Lizzy said...

Wow! I love challah...and yours looks outstanding! I think I'll join in the fun next month :)

Martha said...

A few years back I helped my nephew make Challah bread for a school project. My sister was out of town for some reason. We did the braided variety and it turned out really nice.

Please pass the butter. I'm going to have a slice right now!

briarrose said...

Beautiful challah...that crust looks just lovely. This is on my list to tackle just because it looks fun to make.

kita said...

What a neat idea for the Secret Recipe Club. This challah looks beautiful. Ive never made a spiral loaf before!

Torviewtoronto said...

delicious looking soft bread

Deeba PAB said...

I love that you picked to bake a bread from Renees. It looks gorgeous ... can well imagine why it disappeared so quick. Great great choice for the SRC!

Joy said...

The challah looks wonderful.

Megan's Cookin' said...

I love bread but especially Challah. Nice choice! It looks lovely.

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