Friday, May 21, 2010
Chocolate Chip challah Braid
Challah is my favorite bread to make! Some sweet, eggy recipes remind people of cake.
I took a trip to visit friends and relatives in Los Angeles recently. I decided to cook for my hosts, as a thank you for letting me stay with them. I brought all kinds of easy recipes, which they all loved. I was happy to find that the cooking relaxed me during a stressful time, and decided to bake my specialty--challah--for them.
It's really helpful, when I am busy, to make the challah dough recipe from "Artisan Breads in 5 Minutes a Day" on an evening and bake it the next morning. Since I flew from the east coast to the west coast, getting up early was no problem! I was up at 5a.m., shaping the breads!
I decided to make 2 challahs. One would be plain, and the other would be chocolate chip. I picked up the ingredients at the store, and was so happy to be making dough again!
I rolled the dough for the chocolate chip challah into a rectangle, sprinkled it with chocolate chips and sugar. Then I rolled it into a log. I cut the log in half and then rolled the pieces into longer ropes. The ropes were braided using a 2-strand braid. I topped off the braid with egg wash, then more sugar. The chocolate chip challah is in the foreground of the picture.
I didn't get a chance to taste these particular challahs, but I made 2 identical ones at a friend's house later that afternoon. I learned something while baking with my friend. Although I have been a strong supporter of using margarine in challah, I was able to tweak the flavors to get the taste I want with oil. I'll be using oil in the future, as it is easier to use and costs less.
Everyone was in love with the flavors! The chocolate chips were still slightly melted--it was an incredible challah! Some people had more for dessert.
I came back to the home of my hosts to find that they had eaten both challahs. At first, they wanted more. But then we all started seeing that the pounds were creeping up from all my cooking and baking. So we decided to eat more low calorie.
Therefore, I began baking for my sister and other relatives! They couldn't believe how good my challahs were. My sister said they were better than a bakery. People said that I inherited my mother's baking skills, and that's quite a complement. It was great for friends and relatives in LA to finally know why people in my current area love my challah. And it was fabulous stress relief--making all those stock pots (the 5 qt container I had available) of dough to use.
I am so glad to be back to challah baking again! It's been 6 months for me, and I love it.
If you want to see more of the "Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" baking group's projects sponsored by Michelle of Big Black Dog, click on this link: