Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Daring Bakers Make Challah

Ruth of The Crafts of Mommyhood gave us a great challenge this month. I love challah and braided bread so I had a lot of fun with this, even if I did leave it till the last minute. Since the pulla I made was quite similar to challah, I decided to do a couple of new things with the dough, with varying levels of success. First, the good:
I made a braided round loaf using Ruth's very helpful video. It is a 4-strand braid and is a technique I'll use again and again. Here's what it looked like after I baked it. No pictures of it sliced, as I gave this one away, but I haven't heard any complaints yet. 
Next, I decided to do a filled loaf. There had been lots of beautiful ones on the forum, but none of them had rhubarb. Did I tell you that my nephew and I picked 10 pounds of rhubarb at my mother's? And that there's at least that much more for next weekend? Heaven! Here's the Bjorn Borg of rhubarb himself:
So, what to put with the rhubarb? I decided on pistachio paste, since there had been a can of it lurking in the cupboard for a while. Good idea, but I put way too much of the pistachio paste and roasted rhubarb, because I'm greedy. 

It was impossible to seal the cylinders and even harder to braid them. Oh, and I had six strands to work with! The unrisen braid was leaking rhubarb syrup and by the time it had risen it had popped open in a few places. It wasn't very pretty, but it was delicious. I may try this combination again and exercise a bit of restraint. Or not.

Thanks Ruth! That was fun! You can find all the challenge recipes here
Blog-checking lines: May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge was pretty twisted – Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to make challah! Using recipes from all over, and tips from “A Taste of Challah,” by Tamar Ansh, she encouraged us to bake beautifully braided breads.