The BEST Challa

I did not write in a very long time, I know. but hey- I was finally doing some of the things I should, like writing papers and taking exams and other obligations. add to that the social revolution we have going on, and that leaves me very little time to write, or procrastinate, or both.

(check out the revolution chronicles page, in Hebrew)

So I'm making up for all the "not writing" by sharing with you the recipe for the BEST Challa you have ever tasted. It's tall and sexy, smells wonderful, with a sweet aroma and a perfect crumb: Not fibery-like the 4-bread Challa, not a crumb like the simple Challa, that yields a great bread that is too low to my taste- but a perfect, tall and lovely soft soft crumb. Can't really describe it. You'll have to try.

BEST Challa
this recipe will yield 2 big loaves, ~600gr each

4t dry yeast (24gr)
1 1/4 cup warm water (300ml)
1/3 cup sugar (60gr) +1t
1t salt
40gr olive oil
~6 cups bread flower (650-700gr)
2 eggs
10gr baking improver (1T)
17gr gluten powder (~2T)

1 egg yolk with 1T of water
sesame seeds

  1. Put the dry yeast with 1 teaspoon of sugar and a bit of the water and wake them up.
  2. in a mixer bowl, mix the flowers, the sugar, gluten powder and baking improver and salt.
  3. add the waken yeast and the rest of the water, and mix.
  4. add the oil; scramble the eggs and add them too.
  5. Mix until you've reached a medium-high level of  gluten development. The dough should be soft to touch.
  6. let the dough rise in a lightly oiled container until doubled, 40min-1hr. Make sure you don't over-proof it, or it won't rise when you bake it.
  7. Deflate the dough, divide to two batches (for two loaves) and then again to 4 (I made 4-strings Challa). Preshape the dough into small rolls, and let rest for about 5 minutes. Open the rolls into strings (like in a baguette) while gently pressing with both hands and rolling the dough roll on a lightly flowered counter. 
  8. Braid your Challa (braiding instructions here) and rest for about 45min, covered in a plastic bag.
  9. Cover the loaves with egg yolk diluted in water, and spread some sesame.
  10. Bake 240C for 20min with steam, then 180C 20 min without steam. If it's already golden after first 20min, cover with baking paper to avoid burning. 
 Of course, this was submitted to YeastSpotting (:

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