Wednesday, June 20, 2012

White Chocolate Wonderful Challah

Shabbat came early this week in our house because Jenn has orientation and leaves with mom tomorrow morning. We decided that instead of me baking the challah by myself on Friday, we would make the challah on Wednesday and bring a loaf to our Aunt Andi who lives in Ohio. Let's just say I am very jealous that she gets to go to Ohio. I have been home from college for about 2 weeks now and would have loved to go visit some friends. But anyway, it is great that Jenn gets to go to college orientation and get excited for her freshman year!

We decided to make a white chocolate wonderful challah this week. Our mom's favorite peanut butter is White Chocolate Wonderful by Peanut Butter & Co. so we decided that we should be the first people to make a white chocolate wonderful challah. To make this challah even better, we added white chocolate chips. We changed a few things around from last week's challah. I'm not sure if those changes made the challah taste better or just a different type of tasty.

Recipe: (makes 2 loaves)
3/4 cups water
2 tsp active dry yeast
1.5 tbsp honey
3 eggs: 2 for dough and 1 for egg baste
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1.5 tbsp sugar
3-4 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
White Chocolate Wonderful by Peanut Butter & Co. (below)

First, pour the water into a large bowl. Make sure the water is warm. Add the yeast and honey and then lightly mix with a wooden spoon. We don't have a wooden spoon so we usually use a big plastic spoon. Let the ingredients sit for about 10 minutes, or until you see small eruptions.

Add the eggs and vegetable oil, making sure to mix the egg yokes and whites first before combining with the rest of the ingredients.

Add the sugar and flour. Be sure to add the flour cup by cup and mix as you go. You may need more or less than 4 cups of flour, I ended up using more than 4 cups. Basically you want to add the flour until the dough is no longer sticking to your hands. Add the salt after around the second cup of flour because salt kills the yeast and which would prevent the dough from rising.

Make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly kneaded then form into a ball and place in a bowl and cover with the bowl with plastic wrap. I usually just use the bowl we originally used to mix the ingredients to minimize the amount of cleaning. Let the dough rise an hour or more, as we want the dough to double in size.

When the dough has doubled, knead the bread again to get all the air bubbles out. Add the white chocolate chips. We did only a cup but I think 1 1/2 cup or more is better. You will also use more later when adding the peanut butter.

Roll the strand out like usual, but this time we flatten them. You make choose to make a dent in the roll for the filling. We did one challah with a dent and one without and did not see much of a difference. Add the peanut butter and spread it along the strand with either a spoon or your finger. Jenn decided to use her finger so I kept having to yell at her to wash her hands cause she kept licking them, obviously no self control. We weren't exactly sure how much peanut butter to use because we didn't want it to ooze out, so we did enough to just cover the strand. We then added white chocolate chips to the inside.

We chose to do a three strand challah because the strands are thicker when filled. This causes the challah to be bigger than usual and we fear our challahs would be GINORMOUS if we did more than three strands. To do a three strand challah, braid like you normally would with three strands.

After braiding the challah let it sit for about 20 minutes. While you wait, butter the cookie sheet and then place the challah on the sheet. This would also be a good time to set the oven. After the 20 minutes, baste the challah with the remaining egg. Making sure to mix the yoke and whites before applying to the braided challah.

Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 or until internal temperature is around 170 degrees.

This challah looks about a million times better than last week's challah! Maybe our best yet!

I mean look how amazing the inside of this challah looks!

And of course Bailey helped to clean up!

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