Braids


Challah_Bread_Six_Braid_1

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ cup lukewarm water

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • 1 tbsp yeast

  • ¼ cup honey

  • 100 g melted butter, slightly cooled

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 3 eggs, at room temperature

  • 4 ½ All Purpose flour

  • 2 ½ tsp salt

  • 150 g crumbled feta

  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives finely chopped

  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes finely chopped

METHOD:

  1. Combine the lukewarm water and a pinch of the sugar in a bowl. Sprinkle over the yeast and set aside for 5-6 minutes or until foamy. Add the remaining sugar, honey, butter egg yolks and 2 of the whole eggs and using an electric mixer, beat to combine.

  2. Add half the flour and the salt and mix on a low speed until smooth. Add the remaining flour and combine. Then pour out onto a floured surface and knead by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic, 8 minutes. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm draft free place until doubled in size, 1.5 hour.

  3. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Half the dough and then divide one of the halves into thirds. Using your hands roll each into a log and then using a rolling pin roll out each log into a flat long rectangle. In the center of each rectangle sprinkle some of the feta, olives and tomatoes. Then roll over and pinch the seam, using water, to seal in the filling and finally return into a log shape. Repeat with each segment of dough.

  4. Arrange the 3 logs closely together in a line, and then press firmly at one end to join. Overlap the logs to form a tight braid. Transfer to a baking tray and repeat with remaining dough.

  5. Cover loosely with a tea towel and set aside in a warm draft free place for 1 hour (the loaves will not double in size).

  6. Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk remaining egg and brush over the loaves. Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, covering with foil after 30 minutes to prevent excess browning. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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