Wednesday, August 1, 2012

M&M Challah

Last Saturday we drove 5.5 hours in one day to visit our brother in New York. It had been almost 7 months since I had last seen him. He recently graduated from college and started working in New York, making it hard for him to come to Massachusetts and visit us. We asked him what kind of challah he wanted us to make for him and the only thing he said was M&Ms. We weren't sure how that would turn out because we thought the colors of the M&Ms might run. Some of the colors did run but it actually created a cool swirl effect to the inside of the challah. We used regular M&Ms but I swear there used to be baking M&Ms but we couldn't find them in the 2 super markets we went to. We spent the day "park hopping" because we brought the dog with us and did not want to leave him in the car. And of course we couldn't go down to New York and not eat pizza and gelato at Sal's. We also had to pick up a seven layer cake from Boiano Bakery with "we miss you" on it, not referring to our brother but to the cake, seriously we have missed this cake.

Can you find Jeffrey?
Also check out the 2nd M&M challah!

Recipe: (makes 2 loaves)
3/4 cup water
1 packet of active dry yeast (about 2 tsp)
1 tbsp white sugar
3 extra large eggs: 2 for dough, 1 for baste
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup oil
1.5 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
Hot Fudge

Mix water, yeast and white sugar into a mixing bowl. Place in a warm place. We placed the bowl in the oven at 115 degrees, but you could also place it in the oven with the oven light on. Let stand for about 10 minutes or until the mixture starts to foam.

Mix 2 eggs, brown sugar, oil, honey and vanilla in a separate bowl. Add to the yeast mixture after it has foamed mix.

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. Place the ball back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place it in a warm place, either in the oven at 115 degrees or with the light on. Let the bowl sit for an hour. After an hour knead the ingredients, place dough back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and put back in a warm place for 30-60 minutes.

Remove from bowl and knead the dough once more to get out all the air. Start by adding the M&Ms and roll out the strands. Then scoop out the hot fudge and fold the dough over to close. We definitely added too much chocolate so it got very messy.

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 30 minutes at 350 or until internal temperature is around 170 degrees.

We added more M&Ms after it baked and placed them in the melted chocolate.

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