Holla! for Pumpkin Challah
Ok sorry for the cheesy title but every time my sister said "challah" she would say "challah!" as in "challah at ya' boy!". Ok, on to bigger and better things. This was my first time making challah- and although this is not a very traditional recipe (because of the pumpkin and spices added to it) I know that I definitely want to make it again! This wonderful recipe comes from the very talented and very creative, Alejandra, of Alway Order Dessert. Her blog is such a pleasure to read! When she mentioned eating pumpkin challah french toast in a post about making the perfect bacon all I could think about was that pumpkin challah- forget bacon! Well, to my delight, she posted about the challah only days later!
So I went out and bought all of the ingredients so that I'd have them on hand when the urge to spend the day watching dough proof hit me. And hit me it did- I don't know how I sensed it- but my little helper, Helen Mae, was in a particularly helpful mood last Tuesday. She took two (2) real (more than 20 minute) naps on Tuesday (I'm not lying)- leaving me with plenty of time to get these glamorous loaves ready to pop out of the oven by 4:00! Just in time for Helen Mae's dinner: She loves pumpkin challah! I mean she really loves it!
Anyway, the bread came out beautifully in texture (my loaves pale in comparison to Alejandra's beautifully braided ones!). Oh, and don't be nervous about the amount of spice in the recipe- it seems like a lot of cinnamon and ginger- but it tastes like the perfect amount. This is not a sweet as in sugary challah- so if that is what you are expecting you can adjust the amount of sugar. I thought it was best the morning after I made it but it was also wonderful the morning after that, toasted with butter.
I took the liberty of detailing (at least part of the) process with pictures, in the case that you, like me, have not made challah before, and were wondering what the stages might look like (a bit of hubris on my part- because for all I know this is exactly how the stages should not look! but, my the bread was delicious- so let's go on that!)
Yeast mixture after it sat for 15 minutes:
After the second rise:
The "sea creature" getting ready to be braided-oh and you should really try this six stranded braid- it isn't any more difficult than a three stranded braid:
braids getting ready to proof:
braids getting ready to be put in the oven:
So make this challah and "challah at ya' girl" if you do!