Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Black & White Challah

I've survived another week of social distancing! My living room is now a home gym / puzzle room / tv room. Luckily for me, my roommate went to her mom's house so I'm able to take over the living room. I've made some progress on my puzzle but it's almost at the point of being more stressful than relaxing and I'm very tempted to throw it in the garbage. My Peloton also came this weekend so I can finally get some cardio in. I almost passed out after my first class. I had to lay on the floor for a while. Which is kind of depressing seeing as I teach fitness classes and used to teach cycle, but I'm going to blame it on the fact that I was too hot. This morning I opened a window and moved a fan in front of the bike, which helped, I only needed to lay on the floor after class for a few minutes. I almost felt sorry for my neighbors that they had to listen to the loud music at 7am but after all the opera I have to listen to from my upstairs neighbor I really don't care what anyone has to say. But I really need to up my game since we are doing a Peloton challenge at work and ~83% of my coworkers are men so I'm at a disadvantage.

I thought I might get lonely being home alone but I'm loving it. We've had so many video meetings at work and last week even had a virtual happy hour that I feel like I'm interacting almost as much as I did when I was in the office. Although virtual happy hours sound great in theory, they aren't so great in practice. I ended up drunk at 5pm on a Thursday with no where to go, and that was only after 2 beers. This week we have a BYOW (bring your own whatever) and I think I might opt for water instead.

This week's challah is SUPER sweet filled with sugar and chocolate chips. Social distancing is dangerous because I can't share the challah and ended up eating most of it myself.

Recipe: (makes 1 large challah)
3/4 cup water
2 tsp yeast
4 tbsp honey
3 tbsp white sugar
3 extra large eggs: 2 for dough, 1 for baste
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
3.5 cups flour
Chocolate Chips
White Chocolate Chips

White dough: Mix 3/8 cup water, 1 tsp yeast2 tbsp honey, and 1 tbsp sugar in a mixing bowl.
Chocolate dough: Mix 3/8 cup water, 1 tsp yeast2 tbsp honey, and 2 tbsp 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 a warm oven and then turn off the oven. Let stand for about 10-15 minutes or until the mixture starts to foam.

White dough: In a separate bowl mix 1 egg and 1/8 cup oil.
Chocolate dough: In a separate bowl mix 1 egg, 1/8 cup oil, and 2 tbsp cocoa powder.

Separately 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 bowls and then roll the balls 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 bowls and knead to get out all the air.

Separate the dough and roll out each ball into a strand. Place chocolate chips on chocolate strands and white chocolate chips on white strands and pinch each strand closed. I did a six strand challah, but you can do whatever shape you want.

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).

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.

Makes great challah french toast too! Riley wanted a bite!

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