Somewhere along the way I saw a funny meme that said something like, ‘well, we finally found out what happens if you take sports away from men, they replace it with baking’ (like most of the stories I retell, the original was better written and funnier in delivery. Mea culpa ). Setting aside gender stereotypes, it does seem true that in this locked-down, stay at home culture, people (not just the menfolk) have been baking a lot of bread.
This post is more about a technique I learned than an actual recipe (though I’ve linked to a recipe that I like below). But, since I’ve seen lots of homegrown challah on Instagram, I thought I’d share.
And, if you are considering trying your hand at bread, challah is a great dough for it. It takes a little time, but, the enriched dough is very easy to work with and forgiving to novice braiders.
So, on to the technique. Most challah consists of a three-to-many stranded braid. While lovely in any iteration, apparently a critique is that the bread spreads horizontally, not vertically. To be honest, I’m not real sure why this might be an issue except for maybe making a sandwich?
But anyway, Cook’s Illustrated came up with a solution (of course they did): stack your braids. That’s right, make a big braid on the bottom. And then, top if with a smaller friend.
The ratio you’ll want to use for the dough is 1/3 little braid, 2/3 big braid. And, a little egg wash works as your glue.
Cool or what? If you don’t have a favorite recipe for challah, I like this one from years back: Challah.