Sunday, November 27, 2011

Honey Challah Bread for Secret Recipe Club

There are many things in life that make me happy.   For example; a beautiful tablecloth, a cup of tea/coffee shared with a close friend, precious baby leaves on the branches of a tree in the Spring-time, the hands and smiles of my children and the process of making bread made with yeast.  Yes, I love to make bread.  I love the process of taking simple ingredients and creating a soft and full bowl of dough that comes alive before my eyes creating a master piece of yumminess into a loaf of bread. 


This past month I was given a gift of a new recipe for a bread made with yeast, Honey Challah.  I discovered this recipe as I was exploring the blog, Farm Girl Gourmet as I was assigned this amazing blog for the month of November from the Secret Recipe Club.  I felt so fortunate to be assigned Farm Girl Gourmet's blog.  I actually double checked my email that contained my blog assignment just to make sure my pure happiness was in the right place as I was over the moon excited to have been given the blog Farm Girl Gourmet.  Heather's blog is packed with beautiful recipes that are explained to perfection and shown with amazing and very helpful pictures. I have had so much fun frequenting her blog and getting to know her from afar.  If only we lived closer I might have just invited myself over for tea as she seems like someone I would just adore getting to know in real life.  :-)

I have been looking for a good Challah recipe now for some time so when I opened Heather's blog to discover that she had the very recipe I had been searching for I couldn't resist making her bread.  What a gem of a recipe!  So easy and out-of-this-world delicious!  It will be a perfect bread for me to make as gifts for this holiday season. 

Honey Challah
(recipe from Farm Girl Gourmet)

Ingredients:

1 cup warm water
4 1/2 tsp yeast
1/2 cup sugar + 1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 eggs
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 - 5 cups flour (more if needed)
1 egg beaten, for the egg wash

Directions:
1. Add warm water to the bowl of a standing mixer.  Attach dough hook.  Sprinkle yeast and 1 tsp sugar over the warm water.  Stir all together briefly and allow the 3 ingredients to grow together for 5 minutes.



2. Add in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, honey, butter, 3 eggs, salt and 4 1/2 cups flour to the bowl.  On the lowest speed, mix all together until the flour is mostly incorporated and then increase speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes.  Dough will become smooth with elasticity.  Add in more flour if needed to make a soft craggy ball (I had to add in at least another cup to get to this stage but don't add too much flour as you want your dough to be very soft).  
3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand about 5 times.  Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides of dough.  Cover with a damp, clean towel and place in warm draft free area for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.  (I placed my covered bowl in a closed oven that I had warmed briefly on the lowest temperature and then turned off as Heather so brilliantly suggested to do in her recipe. It worked like a charm!)

Hello there magical dough!


4. Gently punch down dough and then place on a lightly floured surface.  Divide dough into 3 equal pieces.  Using your hands, roll out each piece to a 14" rope.  Pinch the 3 ropes together and then braid loosely, pinching together at the end.


5. Place braid on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Allow dough to rest and double in size in a draft free location - which should take about 45 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush braided bread completely with beaten egg.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.  Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.



Make sure you slice off a piece of this heavenly bread while it still holds some heat from the oven.  Slather it with butter, close your eyes and take a bite.  You won't regret it.  I promise you!


Served with your favorite jam is also quite yummy....


I want to take a moment to show my deep appreciation to Amanda, who created the Secret Recipe Club and Tami who does such an amazing job as the hostess of my group (Group D). I am having so much fun discovering new blogs and making new friends through the fun of the Secret Recipe Club!


Happy Honey Hallah Bread Baking!

22 comments:

  1. I adore a good challah bread and this looks fabulous Avril. ;)

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  2. Coming over from SRC. I love Challah bread!! Sooo good. I've heard it's really good the next morning as French toast, but whenever I make it, it never lasts long enough to try it. lol!

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  3. Avril your challah bread looks awesome. I only use Challah for my stuffing for thanksgiving. Bookmarking this one. Great job!

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  4. Avril - great work on the Challah!!! I wish we lived closer too - tea and warm challah would be a great way to get to know each other. :) By the way, you can also use this dough as a base for making Cinnamon Rolls that will rock your world!! Thanks for the kind words!!

    xoxo
    Heather

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  5. Wonderful job! I love baking bread, too, and this challah looks amazing!! Your blog is great, I will definitely be stopping by again! Isn't the Secret Recipe Club so fun?

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  6. That bread looks perfect! I'm going to have to try this recipe. Thanks!

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  7. I haven't seen much Challah bread since moving south. You've done a great job with it!!

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  8. Yum! I have never made Challah! Thank you for stopping by my blog today.

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  9. Yummy! I have made regular Challah, but I love the sound of honey in the batter. Will have to try!

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  10. I'm a fellow SRC participant (group C) and I absolutely adore challah. By far my most favorite bread and it's so fun to make! Yours looks just beautiful :) Any leftovers also makes the BEST bread puddings!

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  11. I have never made a challah bread before. I am slowly but steadily testing my hand with yeast. This recipe look so simple, I am going to give this a go. SRC yumminess has me swooning.

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  12. Your challah turned out beautifully. My one and only experience with it was rather a disaster, I'm afraid. And since my yeast breads are always hit or miss, I haven't tried to make it since.

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  13. You bread is gorgeous!! Congrats!

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  14. I have never made my own Challah but would love to and this recipe looks divine. Your bread is spectacular!

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  15. Looks beautiful! makes me want to make some too :)
    mickey

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  16. Yum! I can almost smell it baking. You did a beautiful job. I can only hope mine would look half as good as yours.

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  17. Forgot to tell you -today was my son's birthday and guess what he requested? Your Parmesan Crockpot Chicken! Everyone in this house loves it - thought you'd like to know :)
    mickey

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  18. I love bread, and challah bread is a favorite, for sure! Your loaf turned out beautfully, Avril! It's making me hungry!

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  19. I made this bread for SRC this month and it is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe :)

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