Monday, August 13, 2012

Buckeye Challah

Those of you who aren't from Ohio may be confused by why we are making a challah about a nut. Although a buckeye is a nut, it has also been made into a chocolate peanut butter candy.

As a student at Ohio State, I thought I would make a challah inspired by my school because tomorrow we leave for Columbus. Growing up in Greenwich, CT I had never heard of a buckeye before. The first time I visited campus I went on a tour with my mom. At the end of the day they gave us buckeyes in a wrapper. I was so excited to eat the mysterious candy in the bag. I told my mom about the buckeyes and she gave me the weirdest face and told me I shouldn't it eat. I was beyond confused and didn't understand why she didn't approve when the school was handing them out. Later that day in the airport I opened up the wrapper and found a delicious chocolate peanut butter treat. Only then did we put two and two together. My mom thought that the school was giving us buckeye nuts to eat but they were actually just giving us candy. In the end, my mom was mad that she didn't take one herself.

Recipe: (makes 2 loaves)
3/4 cup water
1 packet of active dry yeast (about 2 tsp)
4 tbsp white sugar
5 tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 extra large eggs: 2 for dough, 1 for baste
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tbsp honey
4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
Reese's minis

Mix water, yeast and 1 tbsp white sugar into a mixing bowl. Place in a warm place. This could be next to a window that gets sunlight, in the oven at 120 degrees or any other way to warm the mixture. Let stand for about 10 minutes or until the mixture starts to foam.

I have never baked with cocoa power before so I didn't know what to expect. We ended up adding too much cocoa powder so I adjusted the amount in the recipe. We also wanted the challah to be sweet so we added lots of sugar.

In a separate bowl mix 2 eggs, 3 tbsp white sugar, brown sugar, 2 tbsp oil, honey and cocoa powder. Add to the yeast mixture after it has foamed.

Add 2 cups of flour, followed by the salt, and then the rest of the flour. Make sure you mix the flour as you are adding it. Continue to add flour until the dough is no longer sticking to you hands.
Knead the ingredients and form into a ball. Oil the large bowl and then roll the ball of dough in the oil. Place the ball back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place it in a warm place. Let the bowl sit for at least an hour and a half.

Remove from bowl and knead the dough to get out all the air. Roll out the strands and place reese's minis on the strands. Then fold close.

After braiding the challah, place on a buttered cookie sheet and allow to rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place. Baste with egg wash (1 egg and 1/2 tbsp water) and place in oven. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 or until internal temperature is around 170.

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