Home Bread-Bakers v104.n011.2

Re: Whole wheat Challah

Mon, 16 Feb 2004 09:03:23 EST
I have to take issue with Barrie Lax's across the board statement 
(bread-bakers.v104.n008.9) that "Whole wheat Challa is one of those things 
that doesn't or shouldn't exist."  My mother, Millie Apter (co-author of 
our book _Bread Machine Baking Perfect Every Time_) who has been making 
challah for 75 of her 90 years has always added one cup of whole wheat 
pastry flour to challah and while I guess you'd have to whip up a loaf in 
order to see for yourselves, everyone who has ever tasted it agrees that 
it's the best in the world.

Here's the bread machine recipe; of course it's easily doubled and made by 
mixer or by hand just as successfully.  Millie made it by hand until she 
discovered how nicely the bread machine kneads and proofs the dough.

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast - not rapid rise
2 cups KA all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons Lora Brody's Dough Relaxer, optional (see note)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons honey
2 extra large eggs
3/4 cup water - more or less to achieve a soft, supple ball after 5-7 
minutes kneading

Place all the ingredients in the bread machine, program for manual and 
check the dough after the first few minutes of the first knead cycle to 
correct for flour/water as needed to achieve a soft supply ball.   When 
complete remove from the machine being careful not to work the dough too 
much (no 'punching down') braid according to your tradition, apply an egg 
wash and allow to rise until not quite double in bulk.   I like to start 
this in a cold oven before it reaches full rise. Bake at 400 F on the 
center rack, for 15 minutes then lower the temperature to 375 F and bake 
for an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until a instant read thermometer 
inserted in the center registers 200 F.

Note: of course Millie made fabulous Challah all those years without the 
Relaxer, but even she agrees it make it easier to roll and form, helps the 
rise and gives it a unbelievably rich texture and taste.  I'll be happy to 
send anyone (who hasn't already asked) a free sample if you send me a snail 
mail address.

Lora Brody