Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Whole Grain Challah

For December the HBinFive group is making a whole grain challah with cranberries and orange zest.  It was easy and yummy.

I followed the recipe exactly as written, using melted butter.  One batch as written just about filled up my Kitchen Aid mixer.  I added the water with the mixer on a lower speed, and there were no overflowing issues at all.  I ended up with just under 5 pounds of dough, so was able to make 5 braids.  I did a one-stranded braid, following the directions on this YouTube video.  It wasn't as easy as they make it look, and I still wouldn't be able to do it without watching the video and pausing it midway through.  But the end result looked great, if I do say so myself!  And was pretty tasty too.

I've never eaten challah bread before, so I really have nothing to compare it to, but this whole grain version was not dense and heavy as you might expect.  The cranberries and orange zest give it a nice holiday flavor.

One of the things I have enjoyed about both this recipe and the November pumpkin bread recipe is having the dough on hand in the fridge.  It makes it so easy to whip out a loaf of delicious home-made bread pretty darn quick.  I whipped up a batch last Wednesday evening, baked one loaf on Thursday, one on Saturday, and three on Sunday.

The last three loaves I made all at once and being in a hurry, forgot to put the egg/sugar/orange zest glaze on.  Which was too bad because that added a lot to the bread, in my opinion, so I'll have to be more careful in the future.  All in all, this is a great holiday bread for eating at home or giving as a gift.
















Braiding on Foodista


16 comments:

Ezzie said...

Your bread came out great! How warm is your kitchen? I think some of the folks who have said their's came out a bit dense and didn't rise, may be like me and have a cold kitchen. Glad to see that your's came out with a nice high rise! Great job!

happy acres said...

Your bread is beautiful. After seeing everyone's, I need to take some time and do mine! Thanks for sharing.

girlichef said...

Your bread look great...what a beautiful rise! I think it's about time for me to go bake another loaf...

Femalechef said...

Great job and so pretty thanks!!!aggenete

Michelle said...

The 1-strand braid was difficult for me too! I had to sit with a bread board on my lap with my back to the computer so I could do it. Finally got it to work, but I had to pause and reset many times!

Beautiful rise!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Mine was much easier to work with after 24 hours in the frig. Yours turned out great!

Cristie said...

I have learned the same lesson- the time in the fridge is really important. Your loaf looks great!

alisa said...

It sure looks great!My first attempt at this didnt turn out so well but I think putting the dough in the fridge should do the trick.I came across your site from the foodieblogroll and I'd love to guide our readers to your site if you won't mind.Just add your choice of foodista widget to this post and it's all set, Thanks!-Alisa@Foodista

Gwen said...

Ezzie, my kitchen was freezing! But we have an Aga cooker and I let this rise on top of the simmering hob, so it did get good bottom warmth. It was so cold outside and aside from the Aga, we have no heat in our kitchen because it's broken! The temp right next to the Aga was 45 degrees. Those who say an Aga heats up the kitchen too much don't know what they're talking about!

And I forgot to mention above, but I baked this (and let it rise on) my Pampered Chef baking stone.

Cathy (breadexperience) said...

What a beautiful rise for a whole wheat bread. I did the 5-strand braid. It was pretty easy. Not sure the 1-strand would be as easy. May have to try that one now.

Kim said...

I have trouble with my dough rising too. I've learned to put the dough over the stove and set the stove on warm. Sometimes it takes hours. I agree that this bread was great to give as presents! It looks great.

Bread Over Heels said...

Your bread turned out beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

Judy3000 said...

Your braid looks GREAT! I will have to try the one-strand braid. I like the round edges of the ends!

Judy L, RN

Jenny said...

Your bread looks great. I can't figure out what a one strand braid would be. I guess I'll have to watch the video and find out!
~Jenny~

Joanne said...

I too love how many loaves this recipe makes! I have SO MUCH BREAD. It is excellent. Yours looks great!

Danielle said...

your braid looks great!!! Its so fun to play with dough like this.