Due to my botched batch of macarons earlier this weekend, I used up my stash of egg whites and had to find an egg yolk intensive recipe to store up more egg whites for my subsequent macarons. And what better recipe to try than Peter Reinhart’s challah which I have been eyeing for months, but did not want to try due to the large stash of egg whites I have accumulated.
I am a sucker for garlic, and I still have a batch of roasted garlic in my freezer so I figure I shall spice it up a little. I was toying with the idea of adding some cheese to the loaf, but, in the spirit of keeping it dairy-free, I finally decided to go without.
Makes one large loaf
255g lukewarm water
7g instant yeast
85g egg yolks (approximately 4 to 5)
35g olive oil
482g unbleached bread flour
100g roasted garlic
1 egg white, for egg wash (optional)
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
1) In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the lukewarm water and the instant yeast until well-mixed.
2) Add the egg yolks, olive oil, honey and bread flour and mix for a further 2 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
3) Sprinkle salt onto the dough then switch to the dough hook. Mix for 5 minutes.
4) Lightly oil a 3 litre container and scrap the dough into the container. Cover and allow to proof in the refrigerator overnight.
5) The next day, the dough should have doubled in size.
6) Divide the dough equally into 6 portions, by weight if possible.
7) Roll each dough into ropes of approximately the same length.
8) Take 3 of the ropes, flatten them, and spread the roasted garlic on the flatten dough. Then roll it back into ropes.
9) Combine the ropes into a 6 strand braid and allow to proof for another hour.
10) 15 minutes before baking, preheat convection oven to 150C.
11) If using, brush egg whites onto the prepared loaf gently and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
12) Bake for 20 minutes. Then, turn the loaf and bake for a further 15 to 30 minutes until the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it on the bottom.
I seem to be find challah somewhat tricky to shape. In this case, I messed up my 6-strand braid and ended up turning it until a loaf by rolling up the braid.
Also I had an incident while measuring out my ingredients. I have a habit of measuring everything directly into the mixing bowl. And this time, while I was measuring the flour, the battery of my digital scale ran out of juice! I have no idea how much flour I have poured in and I have already added everything into the bowl! Fortunately, I remembered the weight of everything I added earlier so I could subtract that from the final weight to find out how much flour I needed to add. Phew!