Challah (Six-Strand)

2009-11-20

Challah (Six-Strand)
 
Recipe from Advanced Bread and Pastry by Michel Suas
Notes: I've always braided challah using the three-strand method as it's the easiest way to do it. But I wanted to learn the other braids as well and set out to learn the six-strand method for our Shabbat dinner tonight. After Googling around for a while, I was frustrated by all of the instructions without diagrams that numbered the strands, as none indicated whether the numbering applied to the strands or the positions. In the end, I followed the directions on Andrew Zajac's blog with some success. It still took me 10 minutes though of trial and error!

The recipes in this textbook are all scaled for commercial use, giving the baker's percentage, weight in kilograms, weight in US imperial as well as what they call a "test batch". The latter is for experimenting with a recipe but it was the perfect quantity for a single loaf. I'm always surprised by the small amount of eggs in most challah recipes (just two for this loaf). For some reason, I've always thought of challah being an eggier bread, but store-bought ones I've eaten recently have also been quite pale. This loaf turned out beautifully, very tender and flaky. Everyone kept pulling hunks off of it throughout dinner.

While writing this entry, I came across a post on The Fresh Loaf that says there are additional student resources for this book, including some diagrams for 2-, 3-, 5-, 6- and even 8-strand braids! Although they do use the numbering scheme, there are lots of colour-coded diagrams at various points, so these should be very useful.