The first Avid Baker's Challenge recipe of the year is Eve Lieb's Processor Challah from Flo Braker's book, Baking for all Occasions. I happen to love Challah, especially paired with something savory like cheese or paté. (I have this crazy sweet and savory thing going on).
The recipe –in this baking group we encourage you to buy the book so we never give the recipes - calls for using a food processor to knead the dough… raised my eyebrows a little because it’s a sort of no-no thing in kneading bread dough. Often the processor runs your dough too hot due to the friction and the lovely yeasty beasties will likely suffer from it. So yes I was a bit worried. Turns out I didn’t need to, the dough came together very nicely but I took care to stop the machine quite early on because the ball of dough worked my knife up .
By then I had a rough ball of dough that only needed 5 minutes of hands-on kneading to become supple and firm, ready for it’s first proof. My kitchen was a bit chilly so I let it be for quite a while and in the end used my microwave on 40C to speed things up. Bowl covered with a showercap, no problem.
Great dough to roll out in ropes, and easy to braid. By the time the dough was ready to braid I had only 10 minutes left to get to an appointment so I didn’t do any intricate braiding, just made two three strand braids and connected them to form a wreath. (Braiding with long ropes works best when you lay the ropes out cross wise connected in the middle and start braiding from that middle and you’ll end up with both ends nicely tapered).
Brushed with some of the reserved egg (added a tiny bit of salt) and sprinkled with sesame seeds, lots of them! I love the combination of crunchy sesame seeds and sweet challah!
See what the other ABC bakers thought of this month's recipe. You can find the ABC blog roll HERE.