Monday, July 27, 2009


What is usually the first thing that you think of when you hear homemade bread? I would assume that most people would get an uneasy feeling of fear, anxiety, or intimidation. Although I haven't made loaves and loaves of bread, the same feeling came over me as well. Bread is different from other baked goods because there are so many factors to take into account that could affect the final product. I think the hardest part about making bread is dealing with the yeast by making sure it is mixed with the right temperature liquid and is stored in the right temperature to proof. Another reason why people stray away from making their own bread is because of the amount of time it takes. From my experiences, I've had productive days while making a loaf of bread. I have gotten things done around the house and even run short errands.

Making bread is definitely doable, especially after a few trials. I decided to make a challah bread today. It is one of my favorite breads to eat because of its eggy taste which is funny because I do not like eggs! I have made this before but it did not use any butter and had a limited amount of oil. This recipe does include butter

compliments of Bread by Christine Igram and Jennie Shapter

For the bread:
5 cups unbleached/white bread flour
2 teaspoon salt
3/4 ounces fresh yeast (3 packets of yeast)
1 cup lukewarm water (100-110F)
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 eggs
6 tablespoons butter, melted

For the glaze:
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoon poppy seeds, for sprinkling

1. Light grease a baking sheet. Sift flour and salt together in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Mix yeast with water and sugar, then add that to the well in the flour mixture with the eggs and butter and gradually mix with surrounding flour to form a soft dough
2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minuts until smooth an elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with oiled clear plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size
3. Punch down the dough and re-cover and leave to rise again a warm place for about an hour. Punch down, turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently. Divide the dough into 4 for one large loaf or 6 for two smaller loaves. Roll out the dough into a rope about 12-15 inches long. Use the ropes to make a braid, either a four rope braid or a three rope braid. Pinch the ends of braid together and tuck under the rest of the loaf.
4. Place braided loaves on baking sheet and cover with oiled clear plastic and leave to rise in a warm place, for about 30-45 minutes, or until doubled in size
5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
6. Beat the egg yolk and water for the glaze together
7. Brush the egg glaze gently over the loaves and sprinkle the poppy seeds evenly
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes for one big loaf or 25-30 minutes for two smaller loaves, when the loaves are a deep golden brown
9. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool before slicing

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