Wednesday, June 16, 2010

First Time Making Bread....Success!!

Today was the day. I've been obsessed with bread throughout my entire life but I hadn't truly fallen in love until I got to UCLA and tried Challah through Challah for Hunger. It's a wonderful organization through the Hillel house on campus that fundraises to send money to refugees among others, in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Darfur, by baking and selling challah bread on campus every Thursday.
I was SO excited when my bread actually rose!!

This bread has changed my life- it is THAT good!! I look forward
to it every week and one of my friends Lea is equally obsessed, so we support each other throughout the long week until we can delight in challah. :-)
So when I came home I knew I needed to replicate the recipe. Although this isn't exactly the challah I have grown to love at school, this made a delicious braided loaf that tastes even better the next day as an afternoon snack, toasted and buttered.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

  • 3/4 cup hot milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 envelope of yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 beaten egg
  • about 4 1/4 cups flour (can use up to 4 1/2)
  1. Heat the milk until it's steaming hot, but not boiling. Then pour the hot milk over the first three ingredients, the butter, salt and sugar. Use large mixing bowl. Stir this to melt the butter, then set aside to cool.
  2. Measure 1/4 cup warm water and stir the yeast into it. (Not too hot, or you'll kill theyeast!) Let yeast stand and begin to grow, about 5 minutes.
  3. Beat the eggs in a cup, with a fork, then pour them into the milk mixture, which must not be hot but can be warm.
  4. Add the yeast mixture to the milk mixture and stir everything until well blended.
  5. Now you begin to add the flour, about a cup at a time, stirring it until smooth, then adding another cup.
  6. Once dough cannot absorb any more flour (this may vary), knead the dough for a couple of minutes on a floured counter or board and then put it back into the mixing bowl. Cover and let if rise.
  7. In a comfortably warm kitchen, the dough should have risen in about three quarters of an hour.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  9. Punch the dough down, remove from the bowl, form into a ball, roll into a cylinder shape and put in a greased and floured loaf pan. Cover and let rise again, for about 30 more minutes. *You can also look up how to braid the loaf if you so desire at, which I learned to do earlier this year at school :)*
  10. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 40-45 minutes, until nice and golden.
**I also made a quick little egg wash using an egg white and painted it onto my challah before baking, but there are many variations on this wash, and next time I would add a little milk to the egg to make it even prettier. :)*

Happy Baking!

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