Baking Projects

I’ve been trying to think of new techniques to try in time for the baking weekend and one I haven’t done before is braiding. Brad did a braided loaf last time we were at his place so I used the challah recipe from Jeffrey Hammelman’s book and did a six braided version after watching an explanation of how to do it by Maggie Glazer in this video

I only did one egg wash before they went in the oven but two washes with the first at the start of the final proof are also recommended and adding a tablespoon of water to one egg. I’ll try a sourdough version when I get time.


I also want to try croissants again.


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4 Responses to Baking Projects

  1. Brad says:

    That’s a very beautiful braided loaf! I think, and I bake 2 challah each week, that getting the braids to be that beautiful and not crack from the rising is a significant challenge. I don’t often achieve the definition you posted. I am currently using a formula that specifies 12 yolks ( and no whites) for about a kilo of white flour. Direct method, about 14% of both oil and sugar, 40% hydration, the formula is from p-102 of Gisslen’s Professional Baking. It is a very rich challah, and since I make one with chocolate chips for the kids, that one is really pastry rather than bread. I often don’t even have it with food, but stand alone with a cup of black coffee the next morning. I actually prefer 9yolks and. Whole egg or 2 to get to the 20% yolk specified in the formula. Happy to make one in September. Like to see how much yeast and rising times for your braids, though.

  2. bakingben says:

    Using the Hamelman recipe and 1kg flour the eggs were 5 yolks and 3 whole eggs along with only 5.5% sugar and 7.5% oil (I used olive oil) so that recipe was less enriched than your recipe. The fresh yeast was 2.5% and bulk and final proving times were each about 2 hours and it made 2 of the loaves shown in the picture baked for 40 minutes around 190C.

  3. Adam says:

    Ben, I am totally in awe of your braiding!
    Ditto about croissants.

  4. bakingben says:

    Thank you: it was probably more a matter of beginners luck and that video by Maggie Glezer which helped a lot. That particular loaf was destined as a gift for some friends in Brighton last weekend who were pleased to receive it (and the husband is, incidentally, Jewish so appreciated a bread of Jewish origins). I haven’t any French friends to make croissants for though! I was walking round the Selfridges Food Hall the other day (my job is based in Central London now) and there was a very nice looking challah from the Lithuanian “Karaway Bakery” who are based in the Westfield Centre in Stratford. It had poppy seeds on alternating braids which was a nice touch. Their other bread looked great as well. They were featured in the latest Paul Hollywood programme on bread.

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