Our hard working Culinary Arts trainees attend baking and cooking classes at Harlem Center for Opportunity over a 16-week period, at the end of which they each complete a practical exam and receive an American Culinary Federation training certificate.
During last Thursday’s lesson, Chef instructor Eric Smith, taught the men how to bake challah bread, muffins, scones, and dinner rolls. Though it proved to be very challenging, the men surpassed the chef’s expectations! We hope you have as much fun as our trainees did while doing what they love to do best- bake!
Challah Bread (2 loaves)
1 3/4 cup lukewarm water
3 tablespoons dry yeast
4 egg yolks
1/2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
5 cups bread flour, sifted
Extra bread flour for dusting
Egg wash: 2 eggs lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons water
1. Combine the water and yeast in the mixing bowl and let ferment for 10 minutes. Add the egg yolks, salt, sugar, vegetable oil, and honey to the yeast and water and let ferment another 10 minutes.
2. Add the flour and mix with a dough hook for 10 minutes at low speed. Dust with flour as the dough is mixing, so the dough doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl. From time to time, pause the mixer to push the dough down from the hook.
3.Place the dough in a large oiled bowl. Brush the top of the dough with vegetable oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let proof (rise) 1 hour or until the dough doubles in size.
4. Turn the dough out onto a floured work area. With a dough scraper, cut the dough in half. Divide each half into 3 equal parts and form 6 balls. Place 1 ball at a time on a floured surface and roll with palms while pressing down, forming a 12-inch long strand. Repeat with the remaining 5 balls of dough.
5. To braid the challah, pinch the ends of 3 strands together. Place the left piece over the middle piece (so now it becomes the middle piece). Next, place the right piece over the middle piece. Continue braining until you come to the end. Pinch the ends together and turn the pinched parts under the loaf. Place on greased baking sheet and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Repeat with the second loaf. Let proof again until double in size.
6. When the loaves are almost doubled, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Transfer to a rack to cool.