The high heat of Northern California and a finicky oven have put me in a state of “baking withdrawal”. So when the heat abated at the beginning of this week, I got busy in the kitchen. What a great feeling to get my hands on some yeast dough again! I love the process of mixing, kneading, and proofing dough.
This recipe is the perfect combination of hands on and carefree: you spend a little time mixing and folding the dough, then into the refrigerator it goes for a cool, overnight rise. On day two you shape and proof the dough for the second time, and voila, two beautiful braids of challah. The resulting loaves are light and delicate but full of flavor. You can top them with the traditional poppy or sesame seeds, or use the dough for a cinnamon-raisin loaf. Once baked the challah can be frozen, tightly wrapped, and then presented at a later date, after a quick warming in the oven.
The recipe is part of Food52’s Genius Recipes collection. I followed it exactly as it’s written, and I was thrilled with the results. You can find it here. If you need a “baking fix”, and you love yeasted loaves, give this one a try. Your family and friends will thank you.