Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Challah

One of the best parts about birthright was meeting new people and making new friends. My trip was mostly Ohio State and OU students so going into the trip there were a decent number of people I knew but there were plenty of opportunities to create memories with new friends. During winter break I made a Nutella challah for a few of the boys from my trip and the rest of their house. They enjoyed it so much that I had to make another challah for them when I was home over spring break. This time I made a peanut butter chocolate chunk challah, as requested by Josh. I had to use Skippy peanut butter because he is a princess and that is what he requested. I didn’t end up giving them the challah until days after it was made so I heated it up in the oven, which was oh em gee so amazing! The bread freshened up and the peanut butter and chocolate chips melted and became all gooey. Needless to say the challah was eaten within minutes. I have a feeling these boys are going to need to come to my group fitness classes if they want to continue eating my challah.

Challah isn’t the only thing I have baked for these boys. A few months ago my roommate Maddie had the brilliant idea of kidnapping Josh and taking him to the supermarket. We told him we would bake whatever he wanted, and by bake she meant I would bake and clean up while she watched. We were doubtful that the boys would have a cake pan, so we had to buy one. We ended up buying a bunt pan because what is funnier than a bunt cake? Nothing. We made cinnamon rolls to tide us over while the funfetti bunt cake baked. After the cake was done we frosted it, wrote “happy birthday Jared” and lit some candles. We then proceeded to sing happy birthday. Jared, who is also Maddie’s cousin, was very confused because it wasn’t remotely close to his birthday, but Maddie thought it was hilarious. I think the best part of the cake was the beer bottle in the center. We wanted to put a plant in the center like in My Big Fat Greek Wedding but we couldn’t find the right size plant, I know, total first world problem. While we were cooking the cake we spotted a pile of empty beer bottles lying around their ridiculously dirty kitchen and placed it in the center of the bunt. Of course we got anxious to eat the cake and frosted it before it was completely cooled so the frosting ended up dripping and the cake writing isn’t exactly legible, but we all enjoyed it and was fun to make! When I tried to explain this story to my cycle class the following day they looked at me like I was completely crazy, but what's new.

The yummy bunt cake.... munch!

Recipe: (makes 2 loaves)
3/4 cup water
1 packet of active dry yeast (about 2 tsp)
1.5 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sugar
3 extra large eggs: 2 for dough, 1 for baste
1/4 cup oil
3-4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
Peanut Butter
Chocolate Chunks

Mix wateryeasthoney and sugar in a mixing bowl. Place in a warm place. This could be next to a window that gets sunlight, or I like to place it in the oven at 120 degrees and then turn off the oven. Let stand for about 10-15 minutes or until the mixture starts to foam.

In a separate bowl mix 2 eggs and oil. 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 your hands.

Knead the ingredients and form into a ball. Oil the large bowl and then roll the ball of dough in the oil. This prevents the dough from sticking to the bowl as it rises. Place the ball back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place it in a warm place. Let the bowl sit for about an hour and a half, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Remove dough from bowl and knead to get out all the air. Roll out the strands and spread a layer of peanut butter on each strand and then place chocolate chunks on top of the peanut butter. Pinch each strand closed.

We made a round challah, but you can do any shape.

After braiding the challah, place on a buttered cookie sheet and allow challah to rise for at least 30 minutes in a warm place. This allows the dough to rise again.

Baste with egg wash (1 egg and 1/2 tbsp water).

Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 or until internal temperature is around 170. If the top of the challah is getting too dark or hard then place a piece of foil on top of it while the inside continues to cook.

Looks perfect! And the boys loved it, nom nom!

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