TIPS FROM THE PROS ON MAK­ING YOUR OWN CHAL­LAH:

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

Leader of the North West Lon­don Great Chal­lah Make, Reb­bet­zin Joanne Dove, and pro­fes­sional baker Tami Isaacs Pearce both make a lot of chal­lah. Here are their point­ers:

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

Yeast: use which­ever type you pre­fer. Dove prefers fresh yeast “be­cause you can see it’s ac­tive straight away” but Isaacs Pearce rec­om­mends easy-blend which goes straight into the flour.

Flour: both al­ways use an ex­tra-strong flour which has a high gluten con­tent which means it will pro­duce a stretchy dough that can hold plenty of air bub­bles. Eggs: Isaacs Pearce rec­om­mends us­ing the best qual­ity eggs.

MIX­ING

Elec­tric mixer or by hand? For Dove, a mixer al­lows her to get on with her other Shab­bat prepa­ra­tions and gives a lighter crumb. Isaacs Pearce thinks it worth knead­ing by hand “to re­ally get to know your dough”.

In a hurry? Speed up ris­ing time by us­ing slightly warmer wa­ter — “I mix hot and cold,” says Dove. But don’t use boil­ing wa­ter which kills the yeast. “You can also speed up prov­ing times if you put the plaited loaf in an oven set at 50°C.”

Wet­ter is bet­ter: the best dough is sticky. “If it’s re­ally too sticky to han­dle, add ex­tra four, but if only slightly sticky. Oil your hands in­stead,” says Dove.

SHAP­ING

There are tips on plait­ing your chal­lah in the Shab­bat UK chal­lah make book­let or watch the MMCC’s video tu­to­rial ( see recipe,left).

GET­TING AHEAD

You can make your dough the day be­fore and re­frig­er­ate it overnight: “Keep it well cov­ered,” says Isaacs Pearce. “It will take about an hour to come to room tem­per­a­ture — it will be dou­bled in size and the sur­face ‘skin’ still firm when ready to use.”

Freez­ing: Dove says: “You can freeze the dough, the raw plaited loaf of chal­lah. Let it rise then knock it back. Freeze dough like that or plait then freeze. If baked then freeze as soon as it has cooled.”

BLESS­INGS

Both af­firm the im­por­tance of mak­ing the brachah when tak­ing their piece of dough — see the Shab­bat UK book­let. Says Dove: “It’s the most pow­er­ful time.”

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