Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lithuanian Challah Bread

I'm not Jewish, I just really like the food and there's a dearth of vegetarian Lithuanian recipies out there.

NB: It's best to start this bread the night before you want to eat it, as the dough is at its best after a night in the fridge. I was really stressed last night, but I had some nice bread to go with my post running mellow today.

Part I: yeast slurry
1 cup flour (I like wheat)
1 3/4 tsps yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water

Mix yeast and flour together in bowl, add the warm water slowly. Leave in warm dark place for twenty minutes to activate the yeast.

Part II: bread dough
4 more cups flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons table salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 egg (for glaze)

mix dry ingredients with the yeast slurry, it should be dry and pebbly, then add the olive oil

knead until the texture gains elasticity, put in large bowl and cover with plastic, let sit overnight (the dough will ferment and gain flavor)

In the morning: remove bread from fridge, let sit an hour, knead again, braid, pour egg white over it all, and bake at 425F on cookiesheet for 45 minutes.

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