this weeks baking challenge for the tuesdays with dorie bakers, challah bread and it was just in time for thanksgivikkah…well, mine was a few days late. the recipe, which was contributed to the book, baking with julia by lauren groveman, is a pretty simple one. it is rich with butter, milk and eggs which would make it an impossible choice for those keeping to a strict kosher diet, something we do not do here in our house. to see the recipe, i kindly ask that you consider buying a copy of the book. if that is not something you can or care to do, perhaps you can borrow a copy from the library or a friend. truth is, you can find a similar recipe on lauren’s website, it has raisins and is a six strand braided loaf while the loaf we prepared omits the raisins and is a three strand braided loaf.
personally, i haven’t made challah in a long time. such a long time that i cannot remember when i made it last. for some reason, i thought it was more complicated to make. luckily, i was wrong about that. it mixed up easily and rose quickly. the bread also shaped easily. now that i know this, i may make it again, but if i do, only half the recipe since it made two huge loaves and we just do not need that much bread. also, i have every intention of trying the different braids. my old baking textbook from my days at the cia, the bakers manual, has diagrams for making braids with 3,4,5 and 6 strands and i want to try them all!
the best photo tutorial i could find for a three strand loaf is this one on the baking bites website. the post also has 4 and 5 strand photo tutorials. my best advice to you if you want to try this, lay your strands on the baking sheet close together. start in the middle and work the braid from the side to the ends, tuck them under and then turn the pan around to the other side to complete the braid. it is easier than trying to move the half finished braid.
to see how the rest of the gang made out, check the tuesdays with dorie page.