Food friday -By popular demand- Challa ( with correction)
Most of what you need to make a good challa, hard ware wise is simple. You need a big bowl, a baking sheet, and the only specialized item you may want to own is a dough scraper.It makes cleaning up much easier.
Probably the most important ingredient in challa is the flour. To make excellent bread, you need high gluten flour. If you live in New England, the all purpose flour tends to be higher gluten flour. If you live in the South, that flour is really soft and will produce a gummy, gluey loaf. King Arthur flour produces the best bread flour. You can buy it from their website, but that is an expensive solution. I can occasionally find King Arthur bread flour locally. Some stores locally charge as much as $11 for the 5lb bag, which is nuts. I have used both Gold Medal and Pillsbury bread flour ( a distant second) or Heckers flour. If I don't use The King Arthur ( even their regular flour is a high gluten flour) I will add about 1/4 cup of gluten from the health food store to my dough. That way, you get a nice, muscular, chewy loaf. I would suppose that if you were baking using a Southern flour, you may need a bit more gluten.
|Braiding the challa|
|The challa -ready for the second rise|
This challa is heavenly when warm. I usually put it in the oven for about an hour while the rest of Shabbat dinner is heating up.