Ingredients in the Bread Pan
My challah contains only 7 ingredients. They are wholesome ingredients that you can easily spell and pronounce. There are no dairy, preservatives, sugar or oil in my challah.
Kneading the Dough
After the ingredients are mixed and have gone through their first rise, which is between 45 minutes and 1 hour, I turn the dough onto a mat, and knead for about 3-5 minutes. My objective during this kneading is to ‘pop’ any air bubbles, and continue developing the gluten structure that will hold the braided dough together.
Portioning the Dough
Each batch of dough makes either 1 large (1 lb. 10 oz.), or 2 small (14 oz.) loaves. Depending on my orders, I either braid the entire dough into a large challah, or cut the dough in half, and create 2 small challahs.
Creating the Strands
I cut the dough into 3 equal parts, and roll each part into a strand. I try to form each strand so that they all have the same thickness along the length of the strand. The strands for the large challah are longer than the stands for the small challah. This photo shows two small loaves with 3 strands each.
Braiding the Dough
I begin braiding the dough in the center of the strand. This technique ensures the load is more uniform in shape from end to end. After I braid from the middle to one end, I then braid from the middle toward the opposite end.
Both Challahs Braided
Two ‘Smallah’ challahs beautifully braided!
I mix an egg with a little water to create the egg wash. I brush the wash on each challah before baking to give the challah a wonderful color, and shiny finish.
Pre and Post Egg Wash
This photo shows the challah before the egg wash, and after: see the shine?
The Finished Product
Two traditional ‘Smallah’ challah baked to a golden brown! Can you smell their freshly baked aroma? Fabulous!!