Wednesday, June 30, 2010
What’s more, I added raisins. Raisins. Plump, juicy, organic raisins. Surely you cannot fail to be moved by the raisins. Have you a heart of stone?
Basically, challah is my favorite bread, but now that I’m on this healthy eating kick, I was thinking … do I really want to be eating this eggy, all white-flour stuff on a regular basis? The answer, of course, is “yes,” but I wanted to find a way to assuage that nagging voice that urges me to consider my health. White wheat flour seemed a reasonable compromise.
Really, the white wheat flour made very little discernable difference. If you squint and think hard, you might detect a faint whiff of graininess … but it’s only a very faint whiff. If you have white wheat flour on hand, there’s no reason not to include it. Gather your whole grains while ye may, and all that.
And I like raisins in most anything, though that’s purely a matter of preference.
White Wheat Challah with Raisins
2 cups bread flour, plus more as needed, or 2 cups all-purpose flour plus 4-5 teaspoons of vital wheat gluten (this is what I used, as I already have enough bags of flour in my kitchen. Vital Wheat gluten may be found adjacent the flour in your grocery store.)
2 cups white wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon malted milk powder (optional)
3 eggs (room temp)
2 eggs divided – yolks for dough, whites for egg wash (room temp)
3 tablespoons sugar
¾ cup water, warm room temp
2 tablespoons butter, melted
oil for dough
In bowl of stand mixer or large bowl, mix together flours, gluten (if using), salt, sugar, and yeast.
Stir together water, sugar, butter, eggs, 3 eggs, and 2 egg yolks. Add to flour mix and stir, then knead with dough hook on high for 4-6 minutes, or until dough passes windowpane test, meaning a small piece pinched off can be stretched until semi-transparent without breaking. Knead in raisins, either by hand or with the dough hook.
Grease dough lightly with vegetable oil and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour and a half, or until doubled.
Punch down the dough and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough into 3 equal segments (or six for two small loaves) and braid them. Place on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet.
Whisk together the egg whites with a tablespoon or so of water and brush the loaves with it.
Allow to rise for another hour to hour and a half, until doubled.
Brush loaf with egg wash again once risen. Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown in color and loaf makes a hollow sound when thumped.
I plan to submit this to yeastspotting. Printable recipe here.