BBA Challenge: Challa

Eggy, eggy bread.  Yum.

I started the challa on Thursday.  I followed the directions perfectly and everything was going really well.  As I was kneading, I checked the temperature.  80F?  Right on.  Windowpane test?  Perfect.  The dough felt good, smelled good, tasted good.  Oh yeah.  Here comes an awesome loaf of challa.  My first ever.  You jut wait, it's gonna be good.

So I braided up the dough - I made the two-layer braided loaf.  Oh that braided dough was so pretty.  I had left my camera at work, so couldn't take a picture of it, unfortunately.  By that time, it was about 11pm, so added the eggwash and oil, put a moist cotton towel over the loaf, put a layer of (recycled!) foil on that to retain the moisture, and put it in the fridge to bake the next day, really excited about how the dough was doing thus far.


Apparently, this dough was still quite active and continued to work while in the fridge.  When I took it out on Friday to get ready to bake, the loaf had already fully expanded and was starting to collapse!  From the moment I took it out, it was working again... bubbling and collapsing... getting worse by the minute.  I was starting to get really concerned about it so I just threw it in the oven before it even came close to room temperature because I was sure it couldn't take another couple hours of warming up... it would just be a gooey mess by that point.

Fortunately, it baked up alright.  It's not the most attractive challa you've ever seen because when the dough started to collapse the braids were not so pretty anymore... and it didn't knock my socks off, but it was good and when it was fresh on Friday night had a really nice, eggy flavor and light texture.

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