Hello dear friend.
I know that I’ve been missing, but it’s not that I’ve not been baking…
Bread is a daily necessity and once you have a Loaf or a Sourdough boule, you’re sorted for a couple of days.
So we swing between the wild yeast and the commercial tame yeast breads.
Challah bread is something I have posted so very often on the blog and I continue to bake often . I keep making a few changes in the basic recipe and I though I must share this bread that I made with mashed potatoes instead of eggs.
I love the rhythm of braiding the bread. And when the challah comes out of the oven,you notice that each one is different from the last one… That’s the magic of bread. Some we slice, while some we just tear off and some we save for croutons for soup…
So this challah has mashed potatoes in the dough instead of eggs to add to the structure . Try this out. The bread tastes no different from regular bread ,it is as soft as ever and as a general rule of thumb I make this bread with whole wheat flour. The thing that you need to remember for home baked bread is, that if you intend to eat the bread within a day, feel free to use whole wheat. Where as, if the bread will stay in your bread bin for the next two or three days ,you need to increase the quantity of bread flour. As in ,use a high protein content flour to bake your bread. You can also add vital gluten to strengthen the dough.
You can make a loaf, or braid it into a 3, 4 ,5,6 string braided loaf , or make round loaves.
I love the beauty of a 6 braid loaf. You will need to practice this out on Ribbons or strings of dead dough (not yeast dough) first , before you attempt this on your challah dough.
Check my video that I’m linking here…
Just make sure that you don’t sprinkle too much flour on your work surface and that you pinch and tuck the ends under. The challah may not look like one the first time, but it will, with practice.
The dough must be enriched with a little fat before you braid it ,or you will need to bake it in a loaf tin else it will spread.
A few pointers you need to remember…
- Use as less flour on your work surface as possible.
- Roll the dough ropes tight and smooth,or the bread shape will change while baking.
- This yeast is for the given quantity of whole wheat. If you increase the whole wheat or atta , you need to keep the yeast the same. But if you substitute all purpose flour for while wheat, add 1/2 tsp yeast for every one cup of all purpose flour.
- Atta or wholewheat needs more liquid. Conversely all purpose flour needs a little less.
- You can add garlic or herbs to the dough if you want Flavored bread. Lightly knead it in to the dough when you degas and punch the dough after the first rise.
- Sprinkle as many or as less seeds as you would like.
- If you don’t finish the challah in a day , wrap in cling film and stash into the fridge.
- Wholegrain bread has a lesser shelf life as compared with white bread.
- The potatoes must be mashed extremely well. Remember, they’ve got to be kneaded into the dough. The best is to use a masher as soon as you can peel them after boiling.
- Your dough may need Less or more water , according to the humidity and quality of wheat. So don’t dump all the water in at once.
As I say, practice makes perfect.
The more you make, the better your bread will look.
And you do need bread to eat at home. Start baking bread at home.
It’s healthier than store bought any day.
Any oil will do while kneading this dough. More oil is ok too.
Traditionally, butter is not added to a challah, but it’s totally your choice.
The crumb of a challah is generally tight and even ,unlike a sourdough, because of the addition of eggs and fat.
I sometimes use hemp seeds or even add seeds into the dough before braiding.
Try this… We toast and make sandwiches out of this bread too.
Slice before storing in the bread bin for neater slices.
- 2 cups whole wheat flour or atta -I use Aashirwad
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp vital gluten optional
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 3 tbsp refined vegetable oil or olive oil or ghee or butter plus a little extra
- 1 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
- 1/2 cup cooled finely grated or mashed potatoes
- Approximately 1 cup luke warm water
- 2 tbsp seeds -poppy, nigella, sesame
- 1 tsp milk to brush or 1 tsp simple sugar syrup if you're vegan
- Oil/ butter/ ghee to brush the loaf with once it is baked. I used a ghee spray
- Finely mash or grate the potatoes and pack into a half cup measure.
- Pop the mashed potatoes into the mixing bowl.
- Place the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, gluten if using, sugar , salt and yeast.
- Top with the oil.
- Begin kneading the dough together with he warm water, till you get a decent development of gluten.
- If you're kneading the dough by hand, youll knead atleast Ten to fifteen minutes.
- Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl to rise.
- Make sure you rub some oil on your dough ball too, to ensure no dry dough will spoil your bread.
- Covr and place in a warm place.
- If its cold in your kitchen, place the bowl in your microwave without turning it on, or in the bin that stores your flour.
- Once the dough has doubled, punch it down and slightly knead and shape to a ball.
- If you want to add herbs or flavours, now i sthe time to add it.
- Watch the video linked in the post on my Facebook page.
- Do click the like butt too.
- Cut into six and make equal ropes.
- Braid the loaf, ensure you pinch the ends and tuck them under.
- If they dont stick, feel free to wet your fingers and pinch them together.
- Tuck the ends under and roll a bit to lift.
- Place on a parchment paper.
- Mix half teaspoon water and sugar for the brushing liquid.
- Once the dough has doubled, or after forty five minutes, preheated the oven to Try this... We toast and make sandwiches out of this bread to one eighty degree centigrade.
- Brush the challah with the liquids and generously sprinkle with the seeds.
- Place in the oven and bake for forty minutes or till you hear a hollow sound when you knock on the tray from below.
- Remove from the oven and brush with oil or butter.
- I spray ,because i have a can right now. Im happy to brush with extra virgin olive oil too.
- Wait for the bread to cool a bit and cut, slice or tear into it.
- You may need to turn on the top rod , my breda gets its gorgeous colour like this.
Try this… We toast and make sandwiches out of this bread too.