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May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge was pretty twisted – Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to make challah! Using recipes from all over, and tips from “A Taste of Challah,” by Tamar Ansh, she encouraged us to bake beautifully braided breads. I was really excited to get started because Challah is one of the breads of my list of breads to make.
I immediately jumped in the weekend after the challenge was posted. I went with the honey white Challah bread. The dough was very sticky even after I kneaded in additional flour but I kept working with it. The dough rose when it was supposed to. When I went to put it into three strands I had a very difficult time. By the time I had braided it the strands were seeping into each other. I cooked the bread and when I took it out you couldn’t even tell that it had been braided. It tasted wonderful but it didn’t have the look so it was back to the drawing board.
My second attempt at Challah was with the Easy Challah Bread. As the name states it was easy to make and the dough was much less sticky this time around. When I braided the strands they stayed seperate and the loaf cooked up beautifully. It was golden brown and crunchy on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside. The bread was slightly sweet and delicious as toast. I’m looking forward to making Challah rolls for sandwiches this summer and trying a few different recipes soon.