June 13, 2009


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22-ounce woven round challah with golden raisins

I can't believe The Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge is already on its 6th week and my enthusiasm for baking hasn't waned. Maybe because this week it's Challah, one of our favorite breads from the first time I saw its dark golden bumpy crust at the grocery. The grocery-store variety are not the very best tasting challah yet I bought the loaves on a regular basis. I only started baking them when I saw a sweet potato recipe and we had it for Thanksgiving dinner last year. It was sweet and delicious. For Christmas I baked a regular one [also] with dried cranberries in the dough. Equally yummy.

I had always wanted to try my hand at shaping a round challah that I see on the web and this challenge has encouraged me to make it. The BBA has instructions for a 2-strand braid but I wanted a 4-strand round. I found this with step by step photographs on how to shape a woven round challah, very easy to follow. After finishing weaving and the dough turned over I was so satisfied and happy with myself for accomplishing something I thought was too complicated.

BBAC Challah

The challah recipe in BBA is one of the easiest and fastest to make which means you get to eat the fruits of your labor in just a few hours. I love its tasty very soft yet chewy crumb and the fact that it has no butter. For the oil, I usually use extra light olive oil or grapeseed oil because both oils are the most neutral tasting and healthy too as they can help raise the "good" cholesterol level. I also read that olive oil increases the shelf life of baked goods which is a plus. I divided the dough into two 22-ounce pieces, one I made into a 4-strand braid. I forgot to take photos of the braiding process. I didn't use the book's instructions as the previous braids I made using this method somehow looked uneven, I can't explain why. I followed the braiding technique in this video instead and the braid came out good. No matter how it looks, lopsided or perfectly shaped, the BBA Challah is number one in my book.:)

BBAC Challah
bumpy but yummy

BBAC Challah
great for grilled cheese sandwich: grated Gouda, apple carpaccio, and fig preserves

flavor 5
texture 5
visual appeal 5
ease of preparation 5
performance 5
worth 5
Total: 30
Average: a perfect 5


Nicole said...

Wow, your Challah is absolutely beautiful!! I've never braided a bread dough, so I'm really looking forward to this one!

Arundathi said...

That looks amazing. I love the photographs too!

susies1955 said...

WOW, that is awesome. Great job. Looks so beautiful.
Maybe next time you could do a video eh?

peteeatemall said...

How beautiful!! I made all braids...I love making challah! Yours looks absolutely perfect! Happy Baking!

haleysuzanne said...

Looks beautiful! I don't know if I like the round or the 4-strand braid better, but both are gorgeous. I am really looking forward to the challah, too...even though I just made the Casatiello. Great work.

Cindy said...

I love that 4 strand round braid. Your breads are just gorgeous. I bake challah every week. I'm going to check out that video. Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, your challah looks amazing and so beautiful. Very nice =)

Mags said...

Lovely bread. Lovely photos. I'm definitely suffering from braid envy here. Yours looks so professional!

oggi said...

Hi all, thanks. I enjoy braiding...when I make a mistake I just unbraid and start again.

Looking forward to challah week.:)

misterrios said...

Awesome. That round braid really caught my eye. Am going to try if I don't chicken out!

strangerkiss said...

Your round bread is exquisite and the directions are so helpful. Thanks so much for sharing!

oggi said...

MisterRios, try the round shape, it's easier than it looks.

Strangerkiss, thanks.

_ts of [eatingclub] vancouver said...

That round braid is too cute!

Laura said...

Beautiful job. I wanted to eat the raisin round challah of the computer screen. I will try to make mine today or tomorrow.

oggi said...

TS, too cute to eat.:)

Laura, thanks...I'll drop by your blog in a few.:)

Kelly said...

Stunning! Both loaves are just beautiful!

oggi said...

Kelly, thanks.:)

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