Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pumpkin Challah.


Pines and twigs,
a lovely scene, 
for braids
of soft, autumn orange.

Winter came, 
glaze like ice,
for mounds and valleys
specked with green.

Home is a scent, 
seasons reflected,
in pillows of spice
and warmth.


Pumpkin Challah Braid

time 20 minutes to make the dough, 2 1/2 hours for proofing, 40 minutes baking time, 10 minutes finishing
yields 2 medium braids of challah

10g active dry yeast

200ml lukewarm water
2 eggs
50g sugar

170g canned or fresh pumpkin puree
55ml vegetable oil
15ml olive oil
1 Tbsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice
700g all-purpose flour

1 egg for egg wash plus some water

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. water or milk

chopped raw pistachios (optional)

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and lukewarm water.
Whisk in the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oils and salt.
Weigh the flour and spice into a bowl fitted to a stand mixer equipped with a dough hook.
Add the wet ingredients and let knead until smooth.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth.
Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm environment for an hour.
Punch down the dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour.
Divide the dough into two pieces with the help of a dough scraper.
Divide each of the pieces into additional four pieces and roll each one into a equally thick and long strand, around 25cm long.
Lay four pieces next to each other and pinch together the ends of the side farthest from you.
Starting from the right, weave it towards the left, going over, under and over.
Then again, take the now furthest strand to the right and repeat the process of weaving it towards the left, over the closest strand, under the next one, over the last one.
Repeat until you have reached the end of the strands.
Pinch together the dough at the ends and tuck under the braid, tucking on both sides.
Place loaves on a greased cooking sheet or silicone mat with space between.
Cover with a towel and proof for 30-40 minutes, or until the dough has gone up to 1 1/2 it's size.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 360°F.
Beat the egg with the water and brush the loaves.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until golden-brown.

in case of day-old bread - it's great to make french toast with!