Hello Everbody! It's will! We're trying a new title: Will Bake 4 Food! I'll make a bread or dessert and you make the main course!! :D
Let us know what you think! Here's my tutorial of Lauren Groveman's Challah Recipe! For her Explanation: http://www.laurengroveman.com/recipes/breads/six-strand-challah/
Here's what you knead (HA!)
8 oz (1 stick) of butter (salted is what I use)
1 cup of milk
1/3 cup of sugar
2 T of Honey
2 1/2 t salt
(she calls for raisins, but I didn't use any)
2 pkgs active dry yeast (4 1/2 t)
1/2 cup lukewarm tap water
Pinch of sugar
5 medium OR 4 extra-large eggs
Up to 6 cups of Bread Flour
Course Kosher Salt for sprinkling
Cornmeal for pans
Egg and 1 T of water for egg wash
Other stuff that you'll need:
2 LARGE bowls (one for the proofs and one for mixing)
Canola oil spray
Mixing spoon (I use a spurtle)
Pastry scraper for the kneading and measuring
Kitchen Scale (if you can eyeball it, this are optional. . . )
Heavy bottomed sauce pot
Pull out your eggs so that they can come to room temp.
(TRICK! if you don't have the 20 minutes for this, in a bowl, put some hot tap water and put your eggs in it. They'll be room temp in about 5 minutes. I do this ALL of the time).
In the sauce pot, put your butter and milk over medium heat until there is just wisps of steam coming from the milk and the butter is completely melted. Take it off the heat and let cool.
Measure out your lukewarm tap water and put the yeast and pinch of sugar in. Mix it ever so slightly to help get all the yeast wet.
Prep your "proofing" bowl now. Spray with Canola oil and measure out your plastic cling wrap too, spraying it as well. Set aside.
Now it's time to get your ingredients combined!!
Put Sugar, Honey and salt into a large bowl whisking slightly, this will be sticky. Then add the eggs whisking each one as you add it in. You'll have a smooth egg mixture once you're finished.
Add in your butter and milk mixture slowly, while whisking the eggs as to not "cook" them. Your mixture should have cooled down by now and your yeast should be "bloomed". So, pour it in and whisk it all together!
Now for the Flour addition! Sprinkle 2 cups of the flour over top of your liquid mixture and start to mix with a wooden spoon.
Keep adding the flour one cup at a time until you have a "shaggy" mass that starts to move together.
Lightly flour a surface and pour your dough out to start the kneading process. "One clean hand, one dirty hand". Use a pastry scraper to help keep your dough from sticking to the surface. Keep adding flour until you have a nice dough that doesn't stick to your hands. I should be like a big blob that will still move around but isn't too stiff.
Make it into a bit of a smooth ball and place it into your greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the oven with only the light on (or a warm place) for 1 hr 45-2 hours. After first proof, Punch down the dough and knead in the bowl to redistribute the yeast, recover and stick back in the oven for another 1 hour to 1 hr-15 minutes until billowy.
Once second rise has happened, punch down the dough again and pour out onto a clean surface. divide as evenly as possible. You want about 10 even balls of about 5-6 oz a piece. I like to divide into 2 and cover one half while I work with the first half.
Once you have your balls created, it's best to let them rest a bit, about 15-20 minutes covered with a clean kitchen towel.
Here's the time to start preheating your oven to 375degF and prep your baking sheets with parchment paper/silpat and sprinkling cornmeal to prevent from sticking.
To make a five braid loaf: roll your balls of dough by folding them inward then elongate until you have a long strand, c. 12 in. long with ends tapered. put 5 of the strands together at one end so it looks like an 5 tentacle octopus. From the outside, bring one strand over and then under ending in the middle. Go to the other outside strand and repeat. Once you reach the very tip, mesh all of the strands together and tuck underneath. (the video has a MUCH better explanation of this process. . . ) Place the braid on one of the prepared sheets and cover for about 15 minutes to let it rest. Uncover and then brush with egg glaze (if you're using a seed topping or sea salt, now's the time to put it on the egg wash) and leave exposed for about 5 minutes. Place in the oven on the middle wrack for about 25-35 minutes. The dough will expand when baking and if desired, take out about 20 minutes in and brush the newly exposed white with more egg wash.
To make dinner rolls: roll your balls of dough by folding them inward then elongate until you have a long strand, c. 12 in. long. At this point, cut it in 1/2 and then continue to elongate one side until it's about 10 in. long and very thin. Take the strand and tie a knot, then tuck the top side of the strand underneath and the bottom side on top. . . (again, the video has a MUCH better demonstration of this). Place the rolls on one of the prepared sheets and cover for about 15 minutes to let rest. Uncover and then brush with egg glaze (if you're using a seed topping or sea salt, now's the time to put it on the eggwash) and leave exposed for about 5 minutes. Place in the oven on the middle wrack for about 15-25 minutes.
The Challah is finished when you can tap on it and it sounds hollow and it's a lovely golden color; For the braid, I like to tap the more white sections to test it; if they don't sound hollow, it needs to cook a little more. . .
Serve warm! This makes a DELICIOUS french toast after a couple days too! SO GOOD!