Monday, January 6, 2014

Hot Chocolate Challah

Snow days are so rare here at Ohio State that there have only been 7 in the past 32 years. Spring semester was supposed to begin today but instead we had a snow day, and have another tomorrow. As great as snow days are, they are no where near complete without a hot cocoa. Unfortunately for me, my whipped cream, marshmallows, frother, and keurig are all back home in Massachusetts and I cant bear to walk all the way to Starbucks in negative temperatures. The number of times I had a warm creamy super fattening hot cocoa over break is ridiculous. There were times I had to go to the supermarket and buy just whipped creme. Although this is mostly because I was bored and needed something to do so roaming the aisles of Sudbury Farms with my empty shopping cart for 20 minutes to buy one can of whipped creme became the excitement of my day. It probably also didn't help that I would eat the marshmallows and whipped creme first and then add more to my hot cocoa. Also, I think most cans never even saw the mug and went straight into my mouth. Come to think of it, I may have just been having hot cocoa for the whipped creme and marshmallows....

 Bailey loves snow days too! Actually, Bailey just likes sticking his head into the snow

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

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, oil 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 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 1-2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Remove dough from bowl and knead to get out all the air. Divide up the dough by strand and add white chocolate chips to each ball of dough. Make sure not to add too many chips because then you wont have enough dough to hold the strand closed when you pinch it later on. Roll out the strands and spread a layer of Nutella. Then add white chocolate chips. I'm sure marshmallows would have been good too, but they are wet and sticky and make the strands harder to close. Pinch each strand closed.

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. Then baste with egg wash (1 egg and 1/2 tbsp water) after it is done rising.

If you are making a round challah bake for about 20 minutes at 350 or until internal temperature is around 170. Check out our Braids and Shapes page for information on cooking times for other shapes. 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.

Yum yum! We finally figured out the perfect amount of cocoa powder to use!

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