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How do these ingredients affect how challah comes out?
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Chickpea




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Nov 21 2018, 6:48 pm
Frumwithallergies wrote:
Another rule of thumb is to avoid over-kneading. I usually do it by hand so I can see when it's ready. I'm curious to try my mixer to see if it saves me time, but I'm a bit worried I'll forget it and the dough will toughen up.

You can never over-knead dough that's hand- kneaded.
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Learning




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Nov 21 2018, 7:32 pm
What the difference if you kneed by hand or machine

Last edited by Learning on Wed, Nov 21 2018, 8:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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oneofakind




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Nov 21 2018, 7:47 pm
The water that is used to dissolve the yeast should be the same temperature as a baby's bath. The best rising temperature is warm and moist. I found if I let the dough sit around too long (if the room temp. wasn't warm enough and the dough wasn't rising), the dough tastes/smells yeasty.
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keym




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Nov 21 2018, 9:04 pm
I bake it lower- 300. We like soft crust- not crisly. Baking it lower makes the whole bake more evenly.
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mom2dkay




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Nov 22 2018, 8:57 pm
mom2dkay wrote:
Just checking in if you already know the brand you use?
I think that different brands have different tastes.


Bump
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thunderstorm




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Nov 22 2018, 9:08 pm
little neshamala wrote:
Oyyyy challah is so confusing. Ive heard this too, but the recipe I use now (with high gluten flour) calls for about 12 minutes of mixing on high (with the Bosch) and it comes out amazing. Tall and fluffy. So weird.

Anyone else have input on what different ingredients do?

Someone told me that salt interferes with yeast and rising. She advised that I put salt in as the last ingredient.
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little neshamala




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 29 2019, 12:53 pm
Bumping this up for more insight....
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BLG613




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jun 20 2019, 4:29 pm
I really need help with my challah. I've tried a bunch of different recipes.. water challah, one of the Sushie Fishbein challah recipes (has alot of eggs), and more recently a recipe posted by Danielle Renov of Peas Love and Carrots.

I don't have a mixer - I make and knead my challos by hand.

However, it always seems like there's too much flour when I use a 5lb bag. It always gets stuck on the bottom and makes my dough feel dried out. Or, it at least makes the outside feel dried out and gets these weird strands of dry dough that form after I let it rise.

I try to add water, and it does what you guys said it would - make it sticky. And then adding more flour to that just makes for a disaster.

I thought maybe my problem was getting too late of a start at night and trying to finish in the morning, so most recently I did it all in one night and I honestly felt like the challah tasted stale. Note: I even "splurged" and tried King Arthur's bread flour this last time.

If anyone has a good recipe for a beginner, please send my way with tips and recommendations of product brands (flour, etc)! My mother never baked challah, so I never really learned how to do it properly and have been having a hard time getting the hang of it.

PS - I'm personally more of an egg-challah type. Don't like the water challos that taste like you're eating air.

Thank you!!!
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Motherhood




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jun 20 2019, 7:52 pm
My son was allergic to eggs, so for a while I baked challah without eggs. No major difference in taste, but I definitely saw the egg-less challah did not rise as much. To prove my point, look at all the pastries in the grocery; the fluffier ones have eggs, the flatter ones don’t. For example: cake, danish, rugelach, cookies all have eggs. Snackers , tea biscuits, and animal crackers don’t have eggs (and are not a fluffy kind of pastry)
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OOT




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jun 20 2019, 8:31 pm
Just a tip.. I found that using honey instead of sugar (after yeast is mixed with sugar) helps preserve freshness.
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studying_torah




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jun 20 2019, 8:51 pm
I read in tamar ansch's challsh book that if your dough is too sticky, add a bit more oil rather than flour.
The oil helps cut down on stickiness without making it too tough & heavy.
Her book might be helpful to you guys.
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mom2mysouls




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jun 20 2019, 10:22 pm
BLG613 wrote:
I really need help with my challah. I've tried a bunch of different recipes.. water challah, one of the Sushie Fishbein challah recipes (has alot of eggs), and more recently a recipe posted by Danielle Renov of Peas Love and Carrots.

I don't have a mixer - I make and knead my challos by hand.

However, it always seems like there's too much flour when I use a 5lb bag. It always gets stuck on the bottom and makes my dough feel dried out. Or, it at least makes the outside feel dried out and gets these weird strands of dry dough that form after I let it rise.

I try to add water, and it does what you guys said it would - make it sticky. And then adding more flour to that just makes for a disaster.

I thought maybe my problem was getting too late of a start at night and trying to finish in the morning, so most recently I did it all in one night and I honestly felt like the challah tasted stale. Note: I even "splurged" and tried King Arthur's bread flour this last time.

If anyone has a good recipe for a beginner, please send my way with tips and recommendations of product brands (flour, etc)! My mother never baked challah, so I never really learned how to do it properly and have been having a hard time getting the hang of it.

PS - I'm personally more of an egg-challah type. Don't like the water challos that taste like you're eating air.

Thank you!!!


You have to use the right amounts of water and flour to begin with. Adding water later, will cause it to be sticky. Adding flour later, will result in drier crust.

It is definitely not as easy by hand. If you will be baking challah often, it's worth investing in a mixer. But it can be done by hand too.

Keep kneading the dough, allowing it to rest before rekneading. Always keep the dough covered in between so it doesn't dry out, stays warm and moist, and will rises nicely. I use a part of disposable plastic tablecloth that I keep cut just for yeast doughs. I even cover after braiding before it goes in oven.

It's possible you allowed the dough to rise too long, by doing it from the night till the morning, and the stale dough taste was tasting like sourdough. I'm just guessing.

The type of flour shouldn't make a big deal. I know people swear by high gluten flour, but honestly I've compared all purpose and high gluten and got the same results. As long as you use right amount of yeast, sugar, salt, and allowed it to rise properly.
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yerushamama




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jun 20 2019, 11:11 pm
BLG613 wrote:
I really need help with my challah. I've tried a bunch of different recipes.. water challah, one of the Sushie Fishbein challah recipes (has alot of eggs), and more recently a recipe posted by Danielle Renov of Peas Love and Carrots.

I don't have a mixer - I make and knead my challos by hand.

However, it always seems like there's too much flour when I use a 5lb bag. It always gets stuck on the bottom and makes my dough feel dried out. Or, it at least makes the outside feel dried out and gets these weird strands of dry dough that form after I let it rise.

I try to add water, and it does what you guys said it would - make it sticky. And then adding more flour to that just makes for a disaster.

I thought maybe my problem was getting too late of a start at night and trying to finish in the morning, so most recently I did it all in one night and I honestly felt like the challah tasted stale. Note: I even "splurged" and tried King Arthur's bread flour this last time.

If anyone has a good recipe for a beginner, please send my way with tips and recommendations of product brands (flour, etc)! My mother never baked challah, so I never really learned how to do it properly and have been having a hard time getting the hang of it.

PS - I'm personally more of an egg-challah type. Don't like the water challos that taste like you're eating air.

Thank you!!!


I add the flour to the water. Since the flour falls to the bottom anyway, it gets mixed better.
Personally, I prefer mixing by hand.

My recipe (complete with strange approximations LOL )

8 disposable cups of warm water
2 - 3 Tblsp dry yeast
2 Tblsp demarerra sugar

wait until this mixture bubbles. then add
2 1/2 kilo 80% whole wheat flour
2/3 c. demarerra sugar
2 Tblsp salt
2 eggs (optional - otherwise add 1/2 c. water)

mix until it forms a dough. Pour oil over hands (into dough) as needed, and knead for about 10 minutes. Let dough rest for a few minutes and knead again, with pouring in oil as needed.

I find that I use less oil this way, and come out with a tastier dough. It generally takes about 1/2 -2/3 c oil, depending on how dry my hands are. If I find that the dough is too dry, I add a small amount of vinegar or seltzer.
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smile4ever




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jun 21 2019, 12:27 am
little neshamala wrote:
Do you know how the texture is affected? What do more eggs do to the challa?


They make softer (fluffy) challas
(Not entirely sure how it works though cuz water challas can be soft and fluffy without)

Eta I posted before I finished reading the thread.

This is the recipe I make weekly by hand

1 cup sugar
2.5 cups hot water
2.5 cups room temp seltzer or water
(Dissolve sugar in water)
4 Tbs dry yeast
Mix together till it bubbles
Add 4 eggs and 1 cup oil mixed together
Let foam up
Mix 1-2 Tbs salt in the 5lbs flour and then knead it into the liquid
Cover and let rise at least an hour
Braid and let rise at least half hr after braided (also covered)
Bake 350 for 45 min- 1hour depending on challa size and how crusty you prefer
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Razzle100




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jun 21 2019, 7:14 am
BLG613 wrote:

If anyone has a good recipe for a beginner, please send my way with tips and recommendations of product brands (flour, etc)! My mother never baked challah, so I never really learned how to do it properly and have been having a hard time getting the hang of it.

Thank you!!!


I also had no tradition for challah baking at home so I started out by making smaller recipes. There's no bracha, but the time and effort and leftovers is way less. And lots of regular Jewish cookbooks have recipes. That way you can get the hang of how things look and feel and come out. And if you don't like how it turns out, don't worry cuz it's only one Shabbos worth Smile

I guess you could also make 2 different recipes the same day if you're feeling adventurous and virtuous and then say the bracha.

Leaving it in the fridge overnight shouldn't be a problem. If I do, it's for the first rise. I've read that a cold rise makes it taste better.

Finally, get a cheap digital thermometer to test doneness, if you can. Go to 195 or so. 200 is still ok, just a bit drier. No guessing!

Here's 2 recipe suggestions.

Bonnie Stern is a famous cooking teacher in Canada. Her recipe can be done by hand, and if you search it you might find it on other websites which is a good sign.

https://www.jamesbeard.org/recipes/bonnies-challah

I'm also sending my learning recipe, even though it's for a machine. I made this one exclusively for the first 6 months. I would have made Bonnie's but this one had pictures! Should work with kneading by hand but I haven't tried it.

http://www.momfluential.net/20.....-tutorial/
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