Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sourdough Challah

This turned out beautifully. The recipe makes a very large loaf, and it is richer than most challahs (in terms of butter) and certainly sweeter. I expect it will make lovely toast, which is nice because I made a small three half-pint batch of ruby grapefruit marmalade today-and you don't want to waste that on just any old toast.

You Will Need:

2 1/4 teaspoons regular dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup fed sourdough starter
1 cup AP flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
4-5 cups AP flour
2 egg yolks plus 1 tablespoon water

In a large bowl, combine yeast in warm water and stir to dissolve. Add the starter, and 1 cup of flour. Mix well, cover and let rise about four hours. Stir sponge down, and add sugar, eggs, butter, salt, and 2 cups Ap flour. Mix well. Continue adding flour until you have a stiff dough that is no longer sticky. Knead until smooth. Place in a buttered bowl and let rise until doubled (about 2 hours). Punch down, divide in 4 pieces and roll into lengths of rope. Braid, place on buttered sheet, and let rise again until nearly doubled. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Before baking, beat the egg and water together and brush generously on bread. Bake 20 minutes, remove from oven and glaze again. Return to oven to continue baking until done-about 40 minutes total. Cool on rack. Makes one gigantic loaf.

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