Friday, April 30, 2010

Challah With Saffron

This is my first four-strand braided bread-isn't it lovely? I still can't believe how well it worked. I also used a new challah recipe that called for saffron. I made a few changes such as using both bread and AP flour, and it was well received. I had intended to give it a second wash with egg after ten minutes of baking, but forgot. I think that would have given it an even deeper colour.

Adapted From: Sunset Breads, Step By Step Techniques

2 1/4 teaspoons granulated dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup salad oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Pinch of saffron threads
2 cups bread flour
2-3 cups (or more) AP flour
Egg was of 2 egg yolks with 1 tablespoon water

Soften yeast in a large bowl with the warm water and a pinch of the sugar. When foamy, add the salt, sugar, oil, eggs, saffron, and bread flour. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Add the AP flour a cup at a time until you have a soft dough that can be kneaded without sticking. Knead well. Place in a buttered bowl, turn to coat and cover. let rise until doubled-about 2 hours. Punch down and let rest ten minutes.

You can pull apart enough dough to make a second smaller challah, or two individual sized ones that can be eaten as rolls. Danny likes having his own challah to bless on Friday night, so I always bake a smaller, "Dannycake."

Divide into 4 strands. Butter a large baking sheet. Braid, starting with the strand that falls on the right placing it over, under, over. Start again with strand at the right. Continue until done.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. With rack in centre position.
Let rise while oven pre-heats -about 40 minutes. Before baking, brush with egg wash. You can give it a second wash after ten minutes in the oven for a deeper colour. You;f can take anywhere form 30-40. I baked mine to an internal temperature of 195 degrees F.

Cool on racks.

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