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Challah: a story of high hopes and sad let downs.

For the last few months I've been talking about making challah. Unfortunately, time just hasn't been on my side. That's why I was really excited to finally have time this past Thursday to bake challah (Thanksgiving-->no work). Turns out it's been a bit over a year since the last time I made challah with my friends Paige and Jenn.

This time I found a recipe posted on a well-known blogger's website: Jaden's Steamy Kitchen. Jaden has an absolutely beautiful blog with great recipes and amazing photography...and she posted a recipe for Nutella challah adopted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, this challah was a pain in you-know-what to make! Like a monster, the dough kept on eating up more and more flour...I think I added at least 4 extra cups of flour, and still it did not become smooth and silky. Part of me wanted to give up, but at that point I not only spent my time, but also eggs, flour, yeast, etc. The only reason for this mess I can think of is that I used margarine instead of butter (I did not have any butter on hand), but would 1/2 cup really matter? Oh, I also substituted 1/4 cup of honey for maple syrup because I ran out of honey.

At the end, I managed to form 3 tubes out of the dough, flatten them out, spread some Nutella on each, "close" them up and then braid them to make challah. Anna made 2 Nutella challas too, and I made currant/orange zest buns out of the leftover dough (buns pictured on the left).

My verdict? This was a great idea, but something definitely went wrong. I think I'll try this with another recipe and maybe add more Nutella next time.

The leftover challah made for awesome French Toast.


BlueToYou said...

oooo looks delish!

Anonymous said...

I just bought artisan bread in 5 minutes a day and was reading something in it that made me think of this post...were you using unbleached flour? The book gets into why it's important; otherwise the dough stays wet. Not sure, but maybe that was it?

Melita said...

It sure looks good! Did it taste good?
I find that some of the stuff I make that doesn't seem to have been a success when you look at it, or during the making, ends up being really delicious!

Olga said...

The taste was just okay: I thought it needed more sugar and definitely more chocolate (but then I always think things need more chocolate).

Let's just say I'm not planning on making this recipe again.

Elise said...

Okay, WOAH. Yum. I love your pictures! I'm going to add you to my blog roll tonight :)

Merisi said...

The idea of Nutella challah bread sounds intriguing, but a lot of work. I'd rather slather the Nutella on a slice of warm challah. ;-)

I read the recipe. It is very different from the one I grew up with, among other things back home we used milk instead of water, and the dough definitely needed kneeding and resting in a warm place, to reach its light, heavenly consistency. In my experience, yeast doughs tend to be much heavier when not kneeded enough, because the gluten cannot develop properly.

Margarine instead of butter should not make that bit of a difference, maple sirup instead of honey, there could be the need for more flour, but not as much as you described.

If you are interested, I can give you my recipe (I don't write a food blog, but love to cook and bake).