A five-strand braid Challah will provide us with this week’s bread. If we’re lucky, it will last until next weekend to be the main ingredient of a perfect French toast.
Challah was a special occasion bread when I was growing up. Traditionally, Challah is a Jewish celebration bread enjoyed on most Jewish holidays and on Shabbat. It does take time and effort. As warm as our Arctic home is, I never could get the “let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place” down. If you’ve been following along, you know I depend on my bread machine as the warm, draft-free place.
This challah recipe came from 300 Best Bread Machine Recipes by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt. The bread was eggy and had the texture and taste I remember growing up. The machine did all the work kneading and rising. As for the braiding technique, I followed a terrific tutorial on theshiksa.com.
1 cup water
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp butter (room temperature)
4 cups bread flour
1 tsp instant yeast
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp water
Measure bread ingredients into baking pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Insert pan into the oven chamber. Select dough cycle.
Remove dough to a lightly floured board; cover with a large bowl and let rest for 10 minutes.
Divide dough into 5 portions. Roll each with the palm of your hand into long, smooth ropes (1 inch in diameter). Braid. See tutorial (www.shiksa.com) for directions. Pinch ends together. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume (30 – 40 minutes).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
When the dough has risen, beat egg yolk and water. Brush braid with glaze.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until braid sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Another delicious bread machine recipe from 300 best Bread Machine recipes! Imagine your kitchen filling with the aromas of basil and parmesan cheese mixing with fresh baking bread. We were poised by the machine armed with butter knives and butter waiting eagerly for the machine to complete its cycle. We were not disappointed!
Makes a 1.5 loaf
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp pesto sauce
4 cups bread flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp bread machine or instant yeast
Measure ingredients into baking pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Insert pan into the oven chamber.
A friend here in Point Hope lent me a book called 300 best Bread Machine recipes. Of the 300, I picked out about a dozen to try. The first was a honey wheat oat bread, and it was absolutely terrific. The evening it came out of the bread machine, Jack and I put our other dinner plans on hold and instead stuffed ourselves with warm slices of this bread slathered in butter and honey. After a few days, some breads crumble or dry too much. Not this one. It was dense and flavorful and help up nicely.
The oat bread recipe was a safe pick. I knew how it was supposed to taste and look. Next it was time for a leap to the recipe that made me borrow the book in the first place – Rosemary Caesar Bread featuring tomato-vegetable juice, sun-dried tomatoes, and rosemary. The beautiful color and aroma of this bread makes it a centerpiece loaf. Following is my adaptation of the recipe, including a name change. “Caesar” makes me think of anchovies (Caesar dressing), so I think “Rosemary Tomato Bread” is more accurate.
Rosemary Tomato Bread
1 1/4 cups tomato-vegetable juice
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp dry rosemary
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp bread machine yeast
Measure ingredients into the baking pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Basic cycle to bake.
Makes 1.5 lb loaf. This is an excellent bread to serve with breakfast eggs or for making egg salad sandwiches.