A very Happy Diwali to all of you :)
What a perfect timing to bake this bread! Thanks to Pavani Nandula from Cookshideout who is hosting this month and has chosen the theme as well: Festive Breads :D. I had baked this Challah Bread about a fortnight ago but wasn't sure if I will be able to post it on time, all the Diwali preparations have taken up most of my time since a couple of weeks.
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nevertheless, since I have been able to post, let me share with a little history about this wonderful bread. Challah is a braided Sabbath bread of Judaism, a European celebratory loaf symbolic of God's goodness and bounty. Though it is traditionally braided, a coiled loaf is baked for the Jewish New Year celebrations of Rosh Hashanah and it's round shape symbolizes continuity since it has no beginning and no end. Garnishing the loaves with poppy or sesame seeds, symbolizes the falling of manna from heaven.
About this recipe, well I combined two different ones to make this bread. I took the ingredients from Bread Baker's Apprentice and the shape from Bread by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno. I wanted to use a mixture of sesame and poppy seeds but even after quite a digging in my kitchen cabinet, I couldn't find my can of sesame seeds so I went with poppy seeds. I was pretty happy with how the finished bread looked which in turn helped to reduce the festive stress a bit :)
Makes 1 medium size loaf
255 grams / 9 ounces / 2 cups bread or strong white flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar or honey.
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or unsalted butter, melted and at room temperature.
1 large egg at room temperature and slightly beaten.
140 to 150 ml / 5fl ounces water at room temperature
1 egg white whisked until frothy for egg wash.
Sesame or poppy seeds for garnish.
Please click here and follow the steps till the initial proofing stage. Once the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface for 2 minutes to expel all the air bubbles.
Form into a ball, keep it back in the bowl, cover and let rise for an hour or until it has grown 1 and 1/2 times of it's size. Knock back and shape the dough into a long loaf as shown here.
Roll the dough with even pressure until it forms a rope, about 15 inches / 38 cms long. Taper the ends. Coil the tapered rope into a "snail" like spiral. Pinch the end of the coiled rope to seal.
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the shaped loaf on it and brush with the beaten egg white. Cover with cling film and leave to rest until the dough doubles in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 175 degrees C / 350 degrees F.
Brush the loaf again with the beaten egg white, sprinkle with whichever seeds you are using and place in the oven.
Bake until the bread is nice golden brown and registers 95 degrees C / 190 degrees F in the center. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Storage Suggestions: This bread when tightly wrapped in foil or cling film and kept in a zip lock bag stays well at room temperature for 3 days and in the freezer for about a month.
Lets take a look at what my fellow bakers have baked for this month’s Family Feast Breads event:
- Butterflake Rolls from Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Cardamom Fig Braid from A Shaggy Dough Story
- Challah Bread from la cocina de Aisha
- Cheesy Garlic Pull-Apart Buns from Food Lust People Love
- Chicken in a Blanket from Sneha's Recipe
- Classic Dinner Rolls from A Baker's House
- Cloverleaf Rolls from En La Cocina de Caro
- Cranberry & Orange Spice Bread from Baking in Pyjamas
- Eggless Coconut Pineapple Quick Bread from Seduce Your Tastebuds
- Edible Bread Basket from Passion Kneaded
- Mallorcan Ensaimadas from Ruchik Randhap
- Meyer Lemon & Cranberry Einkorn Bread from The Schizo Chef
- Pear Pie Cinnamon Rolls from From Gate to Plate
- Poppy Seed Coiled Challah from Bakingyummies
- Poppyseed Roll from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Povitica from Spiceroots
- Pumpkin Dinner Rolls from Cook's Hideout
- Pumpkin Yeast Bread from Hostess At Heart
- Rose-shaped Buns from Sara's Tasty Buds
- Savory Cheddar Honey Butter Rolls from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
- Simple High Fibre Baguettes from What Smells So Good?
- Smoked Cheddar Caramelized Onion Dinner Rolls from Noshing With The Nolands
- Sweet Dumpling Squash Drop Biscuits from Magnolia Days
- Thanksgiving Wreath Braided Bread Centerpiece from Pastry Chef Online