Happy Memorial Day! It feels good to have a 3 day weekend, doesn’t it? I’m writing this on Sunday and so far we’ve had almost non-stop rain all weekend. But Monday is supposed to be beautiful so hopefully I’ll be able to give this pasty white skin some much needed sun!
Anyone have any fun Memorial Day plans? I went to my first of 3 weddings this year. My cousin’s wedding was on Saturday, it was beautiful. The ceremony was outside and the weather cooperated for that hour at least. The bride and groom’s Basset Hound, Porkchop, was the “Ring Dog” and it was the cutest thing ever, I wish I had a picture to show you!
Kara and Cliff have been in Hawaii all week and are due home Monday afternoon. With those guys soaking up the sun on vacation it’s been 2 weekends since we’ve done any baking together. I actually think my pants are a little looser. Not!
I’m really excited about this Braided Challah Bread. I love Challah and this was my first time trying to make it, so glad it was a success. I know it looks a tad complicated, but really it’s not that hard and the end product is yummy! I think it would pair so nicely with a honey butter, but we wanted to get a little more creative. We tried something really fun, so check back tomorrow to find out!
½ cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk (save the white for the glaze)
3-3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
For the Glaze
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons water
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, whisk together 3 cups of the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk the warm water, melted butter, eggs and egg yolk. With the mixer on low, slowly add the water mixture and mix until a rough dough forms. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl, but stick to the bottom. If the dough is too sticky, add the remaining flour a little at a time until the proper consistency is achieved. Remove the dough and shape into a ball.
Coat a large bowl lightly with oil, and add the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1-1 ½ hours.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 2 pieces, one twice as big as the other. Divide each of those 2 pieces into 3 equal sized pieces. Roll each piece into a rope that is 16 inches long. You’ll have three thicker ropes from the large piece of dough and three thinner ropes from the smaller piece.
Grab the 3 thicker ropes. Pinch the ends together and braid the strands by crossing the strand on the right side over the center one and then the one on the left side over the center.
Continue until the strands are braided to the bottom then pinch the ends together. Repeat with the 3 thinner strands to form a second, smaller braid.
Beat the egg white and water together to form an egg wash. Transfer the larger braid to a sheet of parchment paper set in a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the top of the braid with the egg wash, then place the smaller braid on top and press gently to secure it. Tuck the ends under on both sides of the loaf.
Cover the loaf with greased plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until just about doubled in size, about 45-75 minutes. Meanwhile, set a rack in the lower middle position and preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. When the loaf has risen, brush liberally with the remaining egg wash mixture then bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the loaf has browned and an instant read-thermometer inserted in the center registers 200 degrees F.
Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the bread rest for 15 minutes, then transfer the loaf to the rack to cool for about 2 hours before serving.
Source: Tracey’s Culinary Adventures