Sunday, April 5, 2009

challah for Lillian


Lillian's eighteenth birthday was a couple of weeks ago, but because of my work schedule I couldn't have her and Rachael over for a partylet till yesterday. The dinner menu was nearly all from Vegan Soul Kitchen, since they're both fans of Bryant Terry: we had squash and pear soup, rosemary-roasted tofu, grits cakes, chard and spinach with lemon tahini sauce, and ginger yam pie. The only non-soul-food thing I served was challah, at Lillian's request. I adapted this from a recipe in A Blessing of Bread, and it turned out to be the hit of the party, very soft and fluffy. Lillian urged me to post the recipe here so that Annie can make it for Rachael.

darker raw challah

Eggless Challah

2T oil
50ml soy milk
a pinch of saffron threads
380g bread flour
45g sugar (less if you don't want your bread to be sweet)
1t instant yeast
1T potato flour
1T chickpea flour
1t granulated lecithin
165ml cold water
1 1/2t vanilla extract
1t salt
sesame or poppy seeds
Cornstarch glaze:
1/2t cornstarch mixed with 1/4C water and simmered 5 minutes till thick and transparent

Mix the oil in a little bowl with 50g of the flour, and set aside. Warm the soy milk with the saffron and let it steep while you gather the rest of your ingredients.

Put the rest of the flour, the sugar, yeast, chickpea and potato flours, and lecithin in your mixer bowl. Add the water, saffron soy milk, and vanilla and mix on low for about five minutes, till you get a soft dough that cleans the bowl. Add the salt and mix it in, then add the oil paste. Mix on as high a speed as you can (without making your mixer walk off the counter) for 8-10 minutes, till it passes the windowpane test. Let the dough rise till doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Shape however you like (I made a four-strand braid), and let rise another hour and a half. Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes. Brush with cornstarch glaze and sprinkle with seeds about 10 minutes before it's done.

challah crumb


joannamauselina said...

Looks super yummy! And the menu sounds great as well.

Lillian said...

That challah was so good, as was the entire meal. Thanks a lot. Bryant Terry would be really glad, I think, that you made his food so well.