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Challah – Jewish Celebration Bread

RECIPE

BreadinFife logoThis recipe for Challah – Jewish Celebration Bread - comes from Colin Lindsay of BreadinFife where you can take part in hands-on bread baking classes in Freuchie, Fife.

At BreadinFife you can learn how to bake delicious breads in hands-on classes with practical tips, plenty of opportunities to sample what you bake as you go along and lots to take home to share with hungry friends. There is no special equipment needed, just a normal domestic oven and good flour.

"I went on the Essential Bread course and came away with oatcakes, pitta bread, two different loaves and a collection of bread rolls. I also came away with a lot more knowledge about bread making. And I had an enjoyable and social day. Colin is very welcoming and able to reassure the most nervous bread maker. But the results were fantastic and I will never buy oatcakes again!"

Brian M (www.tripadvisor.co.uk)


Getting ready to plait

Ingredients to make one plaited loaf

250g strong white flour
3g salt
5g dried yeast
70g warm water
20g honey
1.5 eggs ie 75g (half an egg left to glaze the loaf before baking)
30g butter at room temperature
10g poppy seeds to scatter on top after glazing with egg

Method

  • Mix everything together except the butter and poppy seed. Knead until the gluten begins to develop then add the butter. Keep on kneading until you have a supple and well developed dough with plenty of stretch.

  • Put it in a covered bowl and leave it for at least an hour to double in volume before knocking it back by gently punching the gas out of it. Let it rise again for about an hour.

  • Divide the dough into five equal pieces approximately 85g. Gently roll each piece out, first with one hand then with both moving from the centre of the dough to the outside. The gluten will make the strand creep back and it will may take two or three goes, with a minute or twos relaxation between to get the strands stretched to the 30 cm (12”) or so required to fit the baking tray.

  • Use a dab of water to glue the strands together at one end then dust the strands with a little flour to stop them sticking to each other. Plait using the diagram below. Numbers refer to the position of the strands where they are at any given moment, counting 1 as being the left-most strand. In other words, the numbers of the strands do not travel with them as plaiting proceeds. The sequence is:

2 over 3, 5 over 2, 1 over 3

  • Lay your plait on a baking tray and brush it twice with beaten egg, then sprinkle with poppy seeds. The proof in shape will take about 40 minutes. Bake at 190ºC for about 45 minutes. Watch that it doesn’t darken too much and cover it with paper if it needs protection.

Makes 1 loaf

BreadinFife

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