Sunday, February 16, 2014

Valentine's Day Challah!!

This challah was unlike any other we have made before! Let's just say that it took a lot of improvising... but it still came out better than ever!! Living in a dorm is always fun however it does make it hard when you try to bake some challah. To start, we used my magical RA powers and raided the RA closet to find some baking sheets, measuring cups, and a spatula. Not to mention stealing packets of salt from the library cafe and borrowing a bowl from a friend. We also made a makeshift sign on a paper towel to hang on the oven, so that we could go to our afternoon classes while the dough was rising. In addition we improvised by using a cupcake liner container as a bowl for the egg wash. #noshame This whole process definitely made this challah-day special. 

PS: The photo collage of the college life struggle is at the end of the blog!

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

Mix wateryeasthoney and sugar in a mixing bowl. We also decided to add in the food coloring here so we wouldn't have to knead it into the dough later (this helps keep your hands from turing colors because of the food coloring). 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.

After it had spent about an hour and 30 minutes rising take the dough out and see if you want to add any more food dye. (Warning adding in more dye here will tie-dye your hands! Don't worry the dye will eventually come out!)

Remove dough from bowl and knead to get out all the air. Roll out the strands and place some chocolate chips and white chocolate chips into the dough. (This is the set up before we weaved the strand into a heart)
We also made a regular 3 strand braided challah!

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 25 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.

The College Life Struggle: