Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Blueberry Butterscotch Challah

What do you get when you combine accounting students and community service? MAcc Gives back! Last week the masters of accounting students and professors went to various locations to give back to the community. I went to the Franklin Park Conservatory which features indoor gardens filled with plant life and artwork, including colored glass sculptures, as well as outdoor botanical gardens and sculptures. Of course being the loser (I mean super cool) accountants that we are, we talked about how the conservatory would be treated like a museum under non-profit rules. Interestingly the elements of the exhibit are treated as expenditures, and not assets, and it is frowned upon to sell the elements even if faced with financial hardship. We were split up into 3 groups and my group helped to set up a new bonsai exhibit. Bonsais are miniature trees that are grown in pots that are actually trained to grow a certain way. We added bamboo accents and colored flowers to the surrounding area to highlight the exhibit. The exhibit is actually all fake, the flowers were all in pots and we arranged them and then covered them with moss to make them look like they grew inside the garden. After volunteering we were given the opportunity to explore the conservatory. There were all these glass pieces in different exhibits that were so colorful and beautiful. My favorite part of the conservatory was the butterfly exhibit because it reminded me of the Butterfly Garden at the Bronx Zoo that I went to a lot as a kid. The building that holds the butterflies at the Bronx Zoo is actually in the shape of a caterpillar and you enter the exhibit through the caterpillar's mouth. This week's challah shape was inspired by this exhibit because it is long (and a little wiggly) just like a caterpillar.


Recipe: (makes 2 small loaves or 1 big loaf)
3/4 cup water
1 packet of active dry yeast (about 2 tsp)
1.25 tbsp honey
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 extra large eggs: 2 for dough, 1 for baste
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
3-3.5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
Blueberry Pie Filling
Butterscotch Chips
White Chocolate Chips

Mix wateryeasthoney and brown 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 vanilla. Add to the yeast mixture after it has foamed. Add flour and salt. 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.

Separate the dough and roll out each ball into a strand. Spread a layer of the blueberry pie filling, making sure not to use too much or else it will ooze out. Place butterscotch chips and white chocolate chips on top and pinch each strand closed. I did a 6 strand challah, but you can do whatever shape you want.

After braiding the challah, place on a buttered cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap and allow the 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 35 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. You will need to cover this challah if you choose 6 strand because it is tall so the inside takes longer to cook.

What a great springtime challah, perfect for your next picnic or trip to Oval Beach!

1 comment:

  1. I really like fruit filled bread. It makes for the perfect breakfast or tea snack. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Your challah seems baked to perfection!