Hi there.  Today I don’t really have any particularly interesting anecdotes.  Unless, of course, you have an interest in collecting empty sausage boxes from Morgan and York, stepping in a poopie on our run this morning (quite possibly my own—no I don’t care to explain) or the pint of mediocre (however, better than expected) sangria on the porch at Dominick’s with the Stat Man.  I mean, I do.  But I’m not banking on me being normal.

Really, the boxes just mean the Stat Man and I are preparing to move out to DC again, and weekday sangria indicates the Stat Man is done with the final exam period, minus a paper to finish.  He’s almost a half master.  Yee-haw.  And well, poop?  That is simple.  Frank and the Gang proved poop is funny!

Which naturally leads to Challah.


James Peterson’s Baking

5 C flour

¼ C sugar

½ C milk, barely warm

5 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 tsp yeast (proofed in 1 Tbsp water and 1 tsp flour)

1 tsp salt

Egg wash

Take a cup of flour, the sugar, milk, eggs, egg yolks, and yeast, and whisk together in not-your-biggest bowl.  We’re saving the big guy for later.  It won’t take much to make these suckers smooth.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it all ferment for about an hour.  Easy eh?

When you come back to your mixture you should notice small bubbles on the surface.  Bubbles are good.  Combine the remaining 4 C of flour with the salt in your big mixing bowl.  Then dump the fermented egg mixture into your big pappy.  Mix until all the flour gets a taste of eggs.  Then let it sit for 20 minutes.

If you are lucky enough to have a stand mixer you can kneed the dough for 7 minutes on medium speed until its smooth.  If you are like me, and are only equipped with biceps, then kneed your dough for about 10 minutes—you know the drill—or until its smooth.  Cover your dough and let it rise for two hours, or more importantly, until its doubled in volume.

Now you can punch down your dough (gently deflate it with your finger tips and remove from the bowl).  Split the dough into 3 even pieces.  Roll each ball into a rope about 24 inches long.  If its being fussy, you might have to do this a bit at a time.  Stretch the dough, let it sit 10 minutes.  Stretch the dough, let it sit.  Once you’ve teased out 3 ropes, grease your sheet pan.  Place your three strands on the pan and braid them.  For those of you who never played with my little ponies here is a braiding guide.  Let the braid rise for 2 more hours, or until doubles in volume.

Bush the loaf with an egg wash, and its oven ready.  Place a baking sheet in the bottom of a 400 degree oven (either on the bottom rack, or oven floor).  Fill it with water.  Put your braid in the oven on a rack above the water tray.  Spray water on the oven walls three times, 30 seconds apart.  Turn the oven down to 375 degrees and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the crust is a dark brown.  Let it cool, then make French toast, or a poached egg sammy, and eat it.  Yah.  Oooo la la.


1 Response to “Challa-day”

  1. 1 ljm April 22, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    A suggestion to all future visitors – Do NOT tune into this blog a 1/2 hour before going to bed, knowing that you’re just a tad hungry but attempting to fight off the nibbles! Yum!! Such temptation!

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