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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
It's ALIVE!

Inspired by kressel's post, I decided to bake some challah. I bought yeast, high gluten flour, oil, eggs and sugar. I used a recipe in the old Spice and Spirit - the yellow paperback instead of the blue hardcover. Mostly because I could find it, except I reduced the sugar by half. I don't like sweet challahs. Also, I added a pinch of saffron to the water.

It's been rising for less than an hour and it's already *huge*, and when I jab two fingers into it, the impression stays. Do I need to add more flour?

Comments

If the dough were sticky you'd need more flour — but you'd have known that before you set it to rise. Possibly you just used hyperactive yeast. (I have some that claims to be "rapid rise", which I use when I'm short on time instead of the normal yeast.)

Sounds to me like it's ready to be punched down and braided, in fact. (Mine should hopefully be there in a half hour or so.)

It very much was - just the right degree of sticky. Beautiful, in fact.

I did use rapidrise yeast, which was the only kind of dry yeast in my supermarket. As I wasn't certain of recipe when I bought it, I didn't want to get fresh.

I would not add more flour at this stage, no.

If it's rising faster than you want it to, punch it down (e.g. flour your hands, give it a good punch and watch it deflate, and then gather it into a smaller ball again) and cover it and let it rise a second time. An added rising won't hurt it.

:-)

Nod. I did that once and it grew again, and it was perfect for braiding.

And now my apartment smells amazing.

I would not add more flour. It sounds like its on track to be wonderfully light and fluffy.

Oh, I hope so. My track record for challot has been dismal. Pizza? Fine. Foccacia? Not a problem. Even the time I attempted French rolls came out lovely.

And I do prefer lighter bread.

I wouldn't add flour, no. If it's big enough, I'd punch it down and form it and let it do its second rising; yours sounds ready to go. Sometimes doughs rise fast, is all.

Afterwards, when you know if you like the way it came out or not, you might want to consider these questions.

1. How did you proof it? Did you proof it?
2. How and when did you mix in the yeast?
3. What specific kind and brand of yeast did you use? How old was it?
4. What temperature was the area where it was rising? What temperature was the water you added?
5. What's the weather like there today?

Thank you. Those will be helpful - it's a warm day, I used warmish water - yes I did proof it.

And I used rapid rise yeast. Next time, I'll mix that yeast directly in the flour.

Is this the "Big Challah" recipe from Spice and Spirit?

I lost my old paperback edition, and the Big Challah recipe isn't in the blue hardcover one!

Would you, could you, post the recipe, or email it to me, pretty please?

That was the Famous Challah, but here's the Big Challah

5 lbs flour
4 oz fresh yeast
4 c water
6 eggs
3/4 c oil
2 T salt
1.5 c sugar

Sift flour into large pan. In another bowl, dissolve yeast in .5 cup lukewarm water and one teas. sugar. Form a well in the flour and add yeast mixture. Mix in enough of the flour to form a paste. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until paste rises and little bubbles form.

In a glass bowl, beat eggs and add oil, salt and sugar. Mix. Slowly add the remaining water then gradually stir the liquid mixture into flour. Use a wooden spoon. Knead for 25 minutes adding flour if necessary. Cover and let rise until double in bulk. Take a piece for challah. Shape challahs and bake in preheated overn at 300F for 50 minutes.