|Whole Wheat Challah Bread|
Forgive me, my gluten-senstive friends, but I baked some bread over the weekend that you definitly cannot have. I apologive, but I just had the time! I had enough toilet paper, wine and apples to last me through whatever the hurricane brought, my apartment was obnoxiously clean, I already had a chicken roasting in the oven...and I just had the time for some rising action.
Whole Wheat Challah Bread
*1 pkg dry yeast
*2 Tbsp. sug
*1 1/2 c. lukewarm water
*5 c. whole wheat or all purpose flour
*2 tsp. salt
*2 whole eggs
*2 Tbsp. oil
*1 egg yolk, mixed
*2 Tbsp. poppy seeds or toasted sesame seeds (or both!)
Combine the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup of lukewarm water. Let stand and dissolve for five minutes.
Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center and drop in the eggs, oil and remaining water. Work all together. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Let the dough rise for one hour, covered. I always cover with a damp tea towel. I don't know if I've just read too many recipes and books at this point, or it actually does affect the rise somehow, but its something I just always do.
Push down the down (I actually do not punch the dough down. I cannot tell you the reason why I don't, but it's probably something I learned from America's Test Kitchen or Cook's Country, from the writer's of Cooks' Illustrated) and knead again. Cover and let the dough rise until doubled in size.
When doubled in size, divide dough in three equal parts or six if you are making two loaves (or if you are going all out and making one crazy six braided loaf- I would love to see pictures if you do. Acutally the dough can be formed into a braided wreath as well, or even single challah rolls. Have fun.)With floured hands, roll out and lengthen the seperated balls of dough into rope-like pieces and begin to braid them on a greased baking sheet. Cover once again, and let rise until doubled.
Brush wtih egg yolks and sprinkle with seeds. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown. I used whole wheat flour and far too many poppy seeds, so I loosely covered my bread with foil at 45 minutes, and kept a close watch until the bread was baking for about 50 minutes.
Let cool until comfortable to the touch, but feel free to tear away at the braided loaf, as hot and fresh is always best.