Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Challah Bread Weekend

Last week I had been seeing Jonathan from The Candid Appetite post all about his upcoming Challah Bread recipe on Instagram so when he finally posted it, I knew I had to try it!

 The only loaf of bread I have ever made before is a banana bread. I am a novice baker so I was a little skeptical that I could bake a whole loaf of this beautiful Challah bread, but maybe, just maybe I could do it. You never really know unless you try, right? So I looked up the recipe and what do you know, it makes two whole loaves of bread!! I took a deep breath and composed myself. I had a three day weekend, which means I have plenty of time to dedicate to this bread making thing. So I dug right in.

If you would like the recipe, please check out the Challah Recipe on The Candid Appetite. Jonathan does a much better job of explaining this recipe and he is an amazing photographer so his pictures are absolutely incredible!! Most importantly there is braiding involved, which I totally screwed up! Ooops! I screwed this up because I did not follow Jonathan's directions. I read through it really fast thinking I had it, then when it came time to braid I simply went with my instincts which were to braid the thing backwards. So if you want to braid it correctly, follow Jonathan's step by step instructions carefully, and I am sure you will get it!

I had so much fun making this bread and even more fun eating it!! Here is what my process looked like.

 First I had to gather the ingredients.

 Yes the recipe calls for that much flour. We're making two loaves here remember!!

 The most important thing about making bread is to make sure the yeast is activated. Sounds like something out of a Sci-fi movie, but don't worry it won't crawl out of the bowl like some foamy alien creature trying to take over planet Earth. As you can see the yeast, water & sugar mixture is all foamy which means the yeast has been activated. We are off to a good start. Hooray!!!

Once everything is combined, you must knead the dough for about 7-8 minutes or until you have a smooth ball of dough.

Then you place the dough in an large oiled bowl, coat the dough in oil and let the dough rise for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, you punch the dough down and then let it rise for an additional 30 minutes.

So while the dough was rising, we took a little kitty break and squeezed in a little cat nap too.

Once the dough sat for an hour and a half. This is what it looked like. I used the biggest bowl I had on hand and it still proofed over the bowl. This is awesome!!

So I cut the dough to form two halves, then I cut one half into halves and so on and so forth until I had six semi equal pieces to braid my one loaf.  

I braided it and then liberally applied the egg wash. Once it baked it came out looking like this. So lovely!

There was so much delicious bread I hardly knew what to do with myself besides devour as much as I could right there on the spot!!

But alas, I knew we couldn't eat a whole loaf of bread all by ourselves in one day. So I thought of a few ways we could make this bread last and make it into a few different meals.

The first thing I thought of was making bread crumbs with all of the crispy end pieces. So I did!

I used these bread crumbs to make some greek lamb meatballs that went onto a salad with some homemade tzatziki sauce as the dressing. We ate slices of the Challah bread on the side, of course! Challah bread two ways for one meal. Yes, please!!!

Then the next day I made the dreamiest stuffed french toast. One was stuffed with apples and cinnamon and the other with raspberries and cream cheese. All homemade by yours truly. It was the best breakfast I have eaten in a long time and it looked so pretty too!!

After all of that there is still a good size chunk of bread that I am sure will become another french toast breakfast. The other loaf of bread I took over to David's parents house because I knew it would be put to good use there and nothing would be wasted.

I still can't believe I baked two whole loaves of Challah bread!! I can't wait to spread my little baking wings and try some other bread recipes. 

Don't forget, this recipe is not mine, but comes from Jonathan over at The Candid Appetite. Feel free to check out his site. You can find the Challah recipe here. All of his pictures are beautiful, his recipes are clever and oh so delicious and he does everything in detail step by step. He may go off on tangents sometimes, but you will find yourself laughing right along with him. He is a charming dude all around. 

Hope you guys enjoy!!!


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