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’ve already made Challah once before and I did a 3 braid straight bread the first time. This time I wanted to challenge myself by making a 6 braid straight, 4 braid straight, and a 4 braid round. Challah can be made with or without fillings and since this one is the second time I’m making it, I did all my breads with different fillings. I used cinnamon sugar for 6 braid, mint chocolate chips for 4 braid round, and blueberries for 4 braid straight. The bread was super soft and I enjoyed making this bread right from kneading to braiding to devouring them in the end. I used the eggless recipe from Challah Blog and the resulting bread was just amazing. For the glaze I used maple syrup and my, my it was just so perfect! I guess I’ll be making this bread more often as my family just enjoy having this bread for breakfast.
All purpose Flour — 3 cups
Sugar — 1/4 cup
Canola Oil — 1/4 cup
Water — 1 1/4 cup
Salt — 1/2 tsp
Active Dry Yeast — 1 Tbsp
Maple Syrup — as needed for glazing
Note: For the 4 braid wheat bread dough (I used half the measurements from all the ingredients above, substituting whole wheat flour to all purpose flour, I didn’t add or change any other ingredients)
1. Warm water (between 105-110F) and add sugar and yeast. Mix well and keep aside for the yeast to proof and froth up.
2. In a large bowl, mix all purpose flour and salt. Add oil and combine well. Make a well and add yeast water and mix well. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough well for about 10 minutes. Place the dough on a greased bowl and let it rise for at least an hour (first rise).
Before first rise After first rise
3. Punch down the gas well and divide the dough in to 2 parts such that one can be used for 6 braid (3/4 of the dough) and other for 4 braid round. In the 6 braid dough, divide the dough in to 6 equal parts. Make a oval of each part. Fill the oval with cinnamon sugar (steer clear of the edges and evenly spread the filling inside the center of the oval). Roll the oval lengthwise to form a rope. Repeat filling the ovals in to ropes on all the 6 parts.
4. Braid the ropes in to 6 strand braids. Instructions on how to braid a 6 strand braid click here .
Six braid straight bread.
5. For 4 braid round, divide the dough in similar way, and fill as per the instructions in step 3 with fillings of your choice( I used mint chocolate for the round). Instructions on how to braid a 4 strand round click here .
For 4 strand braid straight, I did it with whole wheat dough and blueberry filling. For instructions on how to braid click here .
6. Place the braided dough on a baking sheet, cover loosely and let it sit for another 30-40 minutes (second rise). Glaze the bread with maple syrup and sprinkle some cinnamon-sugar on top of the bread(optional). Preheat oven to 400F and bake for about 15-20 minutes until the bread is done and the crust is golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Slice and Enjoy!!!
The cinnamon-sugar swirl was just yum yum….
My kids loved the surprise burst of chocolate chips inside these cute round ones.
Healthy bread with goodness of blueberries…
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