Bread Hoarders Anonymous, Breads, Easter, Holiday

Bread Whore – Holla’, erm… Challah!

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I’m a card carrying member of Bread Hoarders Anonymous.  So, Forget that I have a package of English Muffins in the fridge (and one in the freezer). Never mind that there are a dozen buttermilk biscuits, 8 corn muffins, a bag of Tablouleh rolls, 2 packs of flour tortillas, a tube of canned biscuits, and a loaf of sandwich bread lounging around in the cupboards. And you didn’t even see the  disk of Cracker bread, a half-eaten box of water crackers and assorted saltine shaped things only slightly hidden from prying eyes.

I haven’t had any bread in 3 years.

And, Unless they come with a warrant – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Because I’m such a pillar of the BHA community, I decided to not do bread this year for Easter Dinner.
Regardless what you may have heard, there was none of this…

… parading up alongside of the Herb Crusted Rolled Lamb Steaks.
and there definitely wasn’t any of this…

Served up in hearty slabs with the Broccoli & Leek Cream Gratin.
And, there certainly wasn’t any..

slathered with butter (or butter-like substitute), eaten with abandon and relish after the plates were cleaned.
So, there’s nothing to see here.

That was for the benefit of my sponsor….

Here’s the thing…
I religiously make two breads every year at this time – Hot Cross Buns and Challah. But, since I’m really trying to curb the hoarding complex, I really decided not to give in to the old demons to make either. I really wasn’t.

But lamb calls out for yeasty bread…
and I’m weak.

The recipe is a basic egg bread, but in pulling together the ingredients, I realized I didn’t have enough all-purpose flour, and the only oil on hand was peanut oil. So, this is challah with self-rising added to the mix and peanut oil… two very Southern things; besides, I’m not even Jewish. I didn’t even bother with gentle treatment of the dough, I just dumped it all in a bowl together and kneaded the crap out of it. So, I’m taking a firm grasp on my heritage and calling it Holla!

Plate Fodder Holla
Makes 1 18″ Braid
Ingredients
For the Holla:
3 Cups White Lily All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Cups White Lily Self Rising Flour
(White Lily flours are a soft wheat flour. I find they work best for any baking we do here without all the bother and fuss of keeping bread flours, cake flours, high / low gluten flours)
1/4 Cup + 1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Cup Warm Water
1 Package Yeast (that’s 2.5 teaspoons of dry – or – 1/2 ounce of compressed)
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Peanut Oil
2 Teaspoons Salt
For the Egg Wash:
1 Egg  – Beaten
1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds
Other Things:
Large Mixing Bowl
Spatula
Pastry Brush
Baking Sheet

Dump all the ingredients for the bread into the bowl and mix together with the spatula until a rough ball forms
Turn out onto the counter and knead for 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic
Place back in the bowl, cover with a cloth and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size
Punch down and let sit for 10 minutes
Divide into 4 equal parts
Roll each piece into 24″ logs
Braid the loaf by laying the outer braids over the other two on each side, and repeat until you have approximately and 18″  braided loaf
Tuck the ends under and place on a baking sheet Cover with a dry cloth and all to rise for another 45 minutes
Preheat the oven to 375
With the pastry brush, lightly coat the entire top of the braid with beaten egg and liberally sprinkle poppy seeds across the top of the loaf.
Bake at 375 for 30 to 35 minutes – or until the loaf makes a hollow “thunk” when tapped
Cool on a rack

3 Comments

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  2. So sorry you spent the Holiday traveling the red-eye. The Holla turned out much better than I ever expected it would, It was delish!

  3. Your words made me laugh, which in my semi-comatose, jet-lagged state, is an enormous feat. But that stupendous loaf, oh, my! Best thing I never saw today!

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