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Sunday, February 13, 2011

BBA Challenge: Challah Bread

This weeks challenge was challah bread. It was one of those breads that when I saw it finished and it came out of the oven I had to pinch myself and wonder....did I just bake that?!! It must be something about the rise that it makes throughout the process. It is a bread with very spiritual roots. A symbolic bread of the Jewish faith. It is made for many of their holidays. It carries through to the Christian faith with its 3 ropes that are intertwined together representing, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Trinity.

I saw a loaf of this bread 2 weeks ago at a local bakery and it was beautiful. In my mind I had the standard of how it should look. Although I believe mine does not look like what I saw at the bakery, I am pleased with how mine looks!!
I kneeded the dough until I had a nice window. I did have to add more flour to the dough as I went along but it is dry and cold here in Wisconsin. The humidity and lack of does affect the flour. A seasoned baker needs to use the recipe as a guide and know the feel of the dough. Doing these challenge's is going to help me in this area.
I put the dough in an oiled bowl and allowed it to proof.

Once the dough proofed I kneeded it again for 2 minutes and put it back in the bowl to proof some more.

I divided the dough into 3 equal parts using a scale.

I rolled the dough out into 3 ropes and allowed them to sit for 10 minutes.

I braided the loaf. To do the braid I started in the middle and worked out to either end and tucked the ends under. I allowed the bread to proof. I brushed an egg white wash all over the bread and sprinkled the bread with poppyseeds. I read that the seeds represent the Manna from Heaven that God feed the Israelites.

The bread was baked on a stone. It took exactly 40 minutes to bake. Here it is hot out of the oven.

I was excited about the crumb! The taste is nice also. I think I will turn some of it into french toast today. Thank you Chris from for hosting our challenges.


  1. Very pretty loaf! And I love your 'windowpane test' photo.

  2. I also like your window pane test! Looks good.