Tuesday, September 29, 2009
So even though I would like to not admit it (only because it means we are closer to winter), Fall has arrived. I believe it may have even froze last night. However, last year was my first real experience with a true Fall/Autumn season and I have to say it was wonderful. There is a briskness in the air, the leaves are golden and on the ground, the sound of football games are in the background, and the smell of baked goods is usually coming from my house. I had gone on pretty much a hiatus from baking over the summer, but I have bounced back with my first fall recipe. I have always wanted to make challah bread, because I love its light yet dense buttery flavor and when I came upon this recipe in the new Martha Stewart Living magazine, I had to commit. It does take a bit of time, but it is so worth it... We managed to not eat it all last night, and hope to make bread pudding with the leftovers.
Apples and honey, Rosh Hashanah's symbols of a sweet new year, are perfect additions to a loaf of challah.
Makes one 9-inch round loaf.
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter or nondairy margarine, plus more for bowl, pan, and plastic
3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour, plus more for surface
3/4 cup warm water (100 degrees)
2/3 cup honey
2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 tart green apples, preferably Granny Smith, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 1 3/4 cups)
1.Butter a large bowl, and melt 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; let cool. Combine 2 tablespoons melted butter, the flour, water, 1/3 cup honey, the eggs and yolks, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Mix until dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes.
2.Transfer dough to buttered bowl, and brush with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Cover with plastic. Let rise in a warm place until dough almost doubles in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.
3.Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Pat into an 8 1/2-by-14-inch rectangle. Top with apples; knead to incorporate. Return to bowl. Brush with remaining tablespoon melted butter; cover. Let rise again in a warm place until dough almost doubles in volume, about 1 hour more.
4.Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Roll dough into a rope (about 24 inches) on a floured surface. Coil into a circle, and transfer to pan. Butter plastic wrap, and cover dough. Let rise again until dough almost doubles in volume, about 45 minutes more.
5.Heat remaining 4 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup honey in a saucepan over medium-low heat until butter melts. Brush dough with half the honey-butter. Bake until golden brown and firm, about 35 minutes.
6.Brush challah with the remaining honey-butter. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Turn out loaf from pan, and let cool.
Posted by Aimée Korver at 5:32 AM