Sunday, July 15, 2012

Funfetti Challah

We had quite a week! Our family friends Ariel and Caryl came to visit us and we spent the day on Newbury street. We went into every cupcake shop and were very disappointed with the tiny size of the cupcakes. Oh and fyi Johnny Cupcakes does not sell cupcakes, they do however sell shirts in cake displays. We ended up going to Georgetown Cupcakes, the same people who have the tv show DC Cupcakes on TLC. Let me start off by saying that I HATE that show. The owners are whiny and annoying. However, their Marble Brownie Fudge cupcake was very good. Despite the poor layout of the store, and their refusal to give you cupcakes on display (making us wait 15 minutes), you can watch them make the cupcakes in the shop which was pretty cool.

Anyway, my 20th birthday was on Friday so obviously it was time to make a birthday challah. And nothing screams birthday quite like funfetti.

Recipe: (makes 2 loaves)
3/4 cup of water
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/4 tbsp honey
3 jumbo eggs: 2 for dough and 1 for egg baste
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp salt

Start off by pouring warm water into a large bowl. Add the sugar, yeast, and honey to the water. Lightly mix all the ingredients with a wooden spoon. Let the ingredients sit for a little over 10 minutes, you will start to see some bubbles.

Mix the eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract together in a separate bowl and then add to the large bowl.

Start off by adding 2 cups of flour. Be sure to mix the ingredients as you add the flour. Add the salt after the first 2 cups of flour, followed by the rest of the flour.

The recipe calls for 4 cups of flour but we used about a little more, I think this is because of the added vanilla extract. Add the flour until the dough is no longer sticking to your hands, but make sure that you don't add too much flour and the dough becomes stuffy.

Knead the ingredients with your hands and then form into a ball. Place the ball back into the large bowl and cover with saran wrap. Let the dough rise for at least an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

                                          Before                                                         After

Once the dough has doubled, knead it again so that all the air bubbles come out. Then add the sprinkles. The more you knead the challah after you add the sprinkles, the more the color from the sprinkles will be seen in the dough.

This week we did a 5 strand challah but feel free to do any braid you want. Then let it sit for about 20 minutes so that the dough can continue to rise. We got impatient and only waited 10 minutes which I think is why the challahs stretched so much in the oven. Butter the cookie sheet while you wait. After placing the challah on the buttered sheet, baste the challah with the remaining egg. The egg should be previously mixed with a fork. We added sprinkles on top of the baste but you don't have to.

Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350.

The vanilla extract was definitely a good idea! I think we might add it more often, depending on the challah.

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