My friend Nathan claims that this is the best bread in the Jewish tradition, so I feel kind of bad that I didn’t make it on a day when he was going to be here.
As for me, I have never met a challah that I didn’t think was just…okay. It’s just not a favorite of mine. But it’s the next bread, so it was time to try it.
The recipe called for 7-9 ounces of water, and I know some people have written that they had to use all the water. I, on the other hand, used only 7 ounces, but then had to add at least another ounce or two of flour to it in order to get to the dough to be anything but a wet mess.
Even then, after the first knead, the dough still looked kind of batter-like:
After an hour of rising, the directions were not to just punch down the dough, but to actually knead it for two minutes. After that, it looked much more like bread dough:
And another 90 minutes of rising:
Now, I could have just made a loaf, but the challah tradition calls for braiding. Which calls for dividing the dough into thirds. After some consideration, I decided that the most accuracy was just plain pie chart thirds.
Then I rolled them out and braided the three strands. At which point I realized that my braid was a little long. So we had a challah rainbow.
And then baked:
A good crumb and decent crust.
The eaters pronounced it delicious. I thought it was … perfectly okay for challah. It’s never going to be my favorite bread, but it’s pretty easy and will probably make a decent sandwich bread.