Another successful bread recipe from "Healthy Bread in 5 minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzbert, M.D. and Zoe Francois! Actually this recipe was provided by Jeff to our HBin5 google group for our December bread recipe. So let me jump right in with the details!
For this reason I switched the all purpose and whole wheat flours around. Instead of 5 cups of whole wheat and 3 cups of all purpose flour, I used 3 cups of whole wheat and 5 cups of all purpose flour. The other substitution I made was flax seed meal for the wheat germ. This was one of the substitutions that Michelle posted and it worked fine. I just hadn't had time and the memory to get wheat germ, but had the flax seed meal.
The texture of the dough was spot on. I've been making challot (plural of challah) for about 20 years now. I love Jeff and Zoe's recipe for it in the original book "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" and had switched to it last year. Previous to that I was doing the "old fashioned" type of recipe that was time consuming, albeit a good bread.
My kitchen is very cold this time of year. Matter of fact I am sitting here with an undershirt on under my Chanukah tee shirt, and a sweatshirt with a hood on it typing this! I could turn up the heat, but let's face it, since I pay the utilities I am too cheap to do that! LOL.
The point of that paragraph is that it takes longer for my dough to do the first rise. So I just let it sit there for about 3-4 hrs. When I came into the kitchen to check the dough just before retiring for the evening I found that my dough was pushing the lid off! It's a very active dough! I jiggled and then pushed the dough down a bit to where it was about 3 inches below the top of my container and put it in the frig. Checked it again in the morning and lo and behold had to jiggle it down again! Hm. Didn't know what I was going to come home to at this point!
When I took it out of the frig to start working with it, it was once again up to the top of the container, but hadn't pushed the lid up. Working with the dough was very easy. Some of the ABin5, and the HBin5 doughs are very soft and loose but this challah dough was just right.
First thing I decided to make was "sufganiots" or jelly donuts. I don't make donuts usually, and only buy donut holes every once in a blue moon. But one of our HBin5 group members had suggested using the dough for the jelly donuts and I decided to try it. After looking up several sites on the web about how to get the jelly in the donuts I chose to attempt the "wrapping the dough around the jelly" method and then frying them. It was NOT successful. All the jelly leaked out in the frying!
Although I had bought two different kitchen gadgets to try stuffing the donuts, I decided not to attempt it until later. Just running out of time, and energy since I was also cooking latkes for the first night of Chanukah for my hubby, Ken, and I, after a full day of work!
When frying the donuts, which looked more like small cannon balls, I found it very difficult to tell when they were cooked through inside. I don't make donuts, remember? Eventually I took them out before they burned. Then rolled them in sugar and set them aside.
We ate the donuts as part of our Chanukah meal last night for dessert. Whle they were good, and the texture was quite acceptable, Ken just didn't care for the dough done that way. He also made a comment about the whole wheat!
This morning I made the rest of the dough into two challot, putting both into the standard 3 braid. After reviewing all the different braiding techniques I decided to stick with my traditional 3 strand braid. But one thing I did different was roll the ends of the three stands together instead of tucking them underneath. On the larger loaf I made an indent, moistened the dough, then placed a very small challah on it.
Just before baking I put the orange zest and sugar on the top of the smaller loaf. But I had put the sugar and orange zest together in a bowl thinking that that would help the orange zest dry out. Think again! It just made a gunky mess. I couldn't really sprinkle it on top, instead I kind of dropped it on top and then used my egg wash brush to schmear it around on the top of the braided dough. I just did a regular egg wash on the other one. Both baked up beautiful!
The challah had just the right balance of orange zest and cranraisins in it. The texture of the bread was between cake and bread. The crumb was excellent. It all held together extremely well when applying butter, no tearing or having to be ever so gentle with the spreading knife.