Friday, August 7, 2009

BBA Slow & Steady #6: Challah roundup

The stalwart members of the Slow & Steady subgroup of the BBA Challenge continue our way through all of the breads in Peter Reinhart's book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice. Although we're still in the "C's" in this alphabetically-arranged book, we are making progress. Really we are!

The current bread is Challah, an egg bread that is traditionally baked for the Jewish sabbath. It's an enriched bread, with eggs and oil, but no dairy. Typically it is a rich golden color from the whole eggs and egg yolks used in baking it.

Sarah, of Blue Ridge Baker, needed some buns to bring to a July 4 get-together, so she whipped up a batch of Challah, baking one braided loaf and forming the rest of the dough as buns (see the picture, up top). She reports that the bread made fantastic french toast as well. Get the details in her post: BBA Challenge: Challah.


Cathy of The Tortefeasor turned out some professional-looking braided loaves, which she is used as a base for other recipes: croutons and French toast. Clever use of an abundance of bread, Cathy! Here's her post: BBA: Challah


Leslie of Lethally Delicious found that she learned a ton of lessons while making a loaf of Challah that her husband found irresistible. For example, don't braid your dough before you've had your coffee! Luckily, even with a bit of over-hydration (too much water), Leslie's bread turned out beautiful and delicious. Read about her experience here: BBA - Challah


Di, of Di's Kitchen Notebook, wrote a lovely post about reading with her girls, which she tied in very nicely with baking the challah. Her bread, although not a favorite in the taste department, was equally lovely, which Di attributes to all the practice she's had braiding hair. I guess when you come from a family of girls and have a family of girls, braids sort of happen naturally. Here's Di's post: Feeding body and mind


Although Kayte of Grandma's Kitchen Table might tell you her middle initial is "B", I'm convinced her middle name is "Determination!" Not satisfied with her braiding technique on her first Challah loaf (aka "Wild Child"), Kayte baked the bread a second time, and ended up with a much better behaved dough and a beautiful loaf. See both versions: BBA Challenge: Challah.


Audrey of Food From Books made a little hydration error (oops, too much water!) while mixing her bread dough, but luckily a little bench flour smoothed out the problem. Audrey's braided loaf looks professional, and although she found the bread pretty easy to make she found the taste a bit bland. Check out the full post: Bread Bakers Apprentice #6: Challah


Melissa of From Laptop to Stovetop baked a braided loaf that is a work of art. She loved the taste of this bread and is thinking of making the dough into pull-apart rolls next time! Check out her post: Bread Baker's Apprentice: Challah


Faced with an empty freezer and a modicum of free time, Jessica of The Singleton in the Kitchen managed to bake three bread recipes in one afternoon! The best part of baking Challah? Memories of baking with her BaBa, and popping the air bubbles in the dough. Two enormous Challah braids later, Jessica's freezer is no longer empty... Read her post: BBA SOS: Holla for your Challah!


Despite its pronounced resemblance to a plucked barnyard fowl, my Challah was fun and quite tasty as well. I'm not sure it matches the epic homemade Challah I ate on my babysitting job in my teenaged years, but I enjoyed eating it (and baking it, too) nonetheless. Here's my post: Challah {bba} or, Chicken and Egg Bread.

We will have a couple more bread bakers joining the Slow & Steady subgroup of the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge. Look for all of our loaves of Ciabatta in the next roundup!


Di said...

Great post! I love seeing all the braids in one place--everyone did a great job. I really need to remember the egg wash on mine next time... =)

Audrey said...

We are getting to be so GOOD at this! thanks for the round-up, Nancy...I still think your bread is the best!

TeaLady said...

Everyone's challah look fantastic.

Jessica said...

Nancy, your challah looks gorgeous, and I love the pictures that you took. I'm beyond impressed with your round-up posts. That's some serious dedication!

Leslie said...

Great round up, Nancy! There were a lot of impressive loaves out there!

pinkstripes said...

Great round-up as always...I love seeing all the different braids.

Bergamot said...

Great round up... love braids...