Friday, March 20, 2020

Everything but the Bagel Challah

I have officially survived my first week of social distancing! I always thought that working from home would be great, but I'm starting to go stir crazy only living in my 900 sq ft apartment with a roommate and no where to go. Some days I have less than 1,000 steps on my apple watch, which if you know me, it's a really hard thing to accept.

As a result of COVID-19 I'm now working from home for at least a month (although grateful to still have a job), the gyms are closed so I can't teach my fitness classes, and there is no shopping, not even online shopping (probably a blessing since I'm already banned from Nordstrom Rack online, but jokes on them because I just use a different email address for orders). I would complain that I can't go on dates but honestly that's a plus for me. Instead now, aside from work, I spend my days doing puzzles (see picture below of my roommate, you can tell we are serious from the desk lamp), reading, complaining about my neighbors with my roommate (one neighbor sings opera very loudly throughout the day and is singing right now as I blog at 9pm), going for walks outside, doing indoor workouts, and obviously lots of Netflix. Side note - highly recommend Jane the Virgin, of which I've watched 12 episodes in 2 days. My brother thought I would run out of shows if production stops, but I think I'll survive between my mom's Netflix and Showtime, my dad's HBO, and my Amazon Prime and YouTube TV.

I've also tried to maintain my mental health as well as the mental health of my coworkers by hosting video coffee breaks and organizing virtual mid-day meditation sessions. What's so hard about having to be home is you feel like because you can't go out that you should work all day long, but that is the wrong mindset. We need to take care of ourselves mentally and physically. To help with the physical aspect, I decided to invest in a Peloton and I'm praying that it comes before Peloton stops delivering. Hopefully making this challah and actually blogging about it puts me on God's good side, wink wink.

P.S. If anyone else is looking to puzzle, make sure to pick a puzzle with many colors. I very much regret picking sunflowers as the entire puzzle is yellow and green and I've made minimal progress

Recipe: (makes 1 large challah)
3/4 cup water
2 1/4 tsp yeast
4 tbsp honey
3 extra large eggs: 2 for dough, 1 for baste
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 tsp salt
3.5 cups flour
Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel Seasoning

Mix 3/4 cup water, 2 1/4 tsp yeast, and 4 tbsp honey 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 a warm oven 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 1/4 cup oil. Add to the yeast mixture after it has foamed. Add salt and 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 dough 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. I did a six strand challah, but you can do whatever shape you want. Also I made a timelapse of me braiding the challah below :)

After braiding the challah, either butter a cookie sheet or use parchment paper and place on a pan 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 mixed). Sprinkle Everything but the Bagel seasoning on egg wash.

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.

So happy I combined my 2 favorite things.... BAEgels and Challah!

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