Family Eats

Party Challah Buns

For me, there isn’t a better aroma than freshly baked bread in the kitchen.  I have a special love for baking bread but with two kids it is important to find easy and good recipes.  So today I decided to share with you one of my favorites – Challah Buns!  I use the same dough to make any of the possible shapes that come to my mind or which inspire me online.

My husband’s family friend shared this recipe with them a long time ago and I luckily inhereted it.  The only changes that I’ve made are to use bread flour instead of all purpose flour and also I increased yeast amount.

The idea of buns came to me when we were planning to have a cookout at our place and thinking the individual buns would be so much easier than messing around with a loaf of bread, slicing it unevenly and making somebody mad…just kidding.

Here we go… Print Print

Challah Dough ingredient list– (makes one loaf)

1 cup warm water

1/4 cup white sugar

3 teaspoons dry yeast

1/4 cup oil (not olive) I use corn/sunflower

2 eggs – 1 for the dough, 1 for eggwash

3/4 tablespoon salt

3 cups bread flour

Directions

1.  In a little bowl, mix 1 cup warm water (not hot, otherwise you will literally kill the yeast), 1/4 cup sugar and 3 teaspoons dry yeast. Mix well and cover with a lid or a plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place.

2.  In a larger bowl or a dough mixer, combine 1/4 cup oil, 1 egg and 3/4 tbs salt and mix well. Gradually, add 1 cup bread flour and mix well.

3.  Once the yeast mixture has bloomed (you will see two separated layers, the top one will look like a grey foam and the bottom will remain clear), add it to the larger bowl with the rest of the ingredients and keep adding the remaining flour mixing everything thoroughly.  The dough should be soft but not too sticky.

4.  Form the dough into a ball, place it in the large mixing bowl and cover with a kitchen towel.  Keep it in a warm place for two hours or until the dough doubles in size.  I have a “proofing mode” in my oven, so I set it to 100 F.

Two hours pass by way too fast with my crew at home.  So I rush to the oven where it’s proofing and begin playing with the dough.

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You can use any size or shape pan, as long as it is at least 2″ deep for better aesthetics.  Here I used few 9″ round pans and made a double recipe for the party.

Form the dough into golf ball size and space them 1″ apart in a greased pan.

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Does not have to be perfect, in fact the less it is the more authentic and home-made it will look.

Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for another 30 minutes.

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After the “golf balls” have doubled in size it is time to eggwash them.

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I use both, the egg white and the yolk.

Try to cover as much surface as possible.  In the meanwhile, start preheating the oven to 350 F.

About half way, before the oven reaches the max temperature, I insert the buns inside and set the timer to 30 minutes.

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Don’t be afraid to rotated and move the pan around to achieve an even golden brown if needed.

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How do you know the buns are done baking?

The whole loaf should feel light and if you turn it upside down and tap on lightly, it should sound hollow. If neither applies, it means that the dough is not baked through and you need to put it back into the oven for couple extra minutes, watching it closely. Don’t over bake, the buns will come out dry.

Once everything feels right, the buns should slide out of the pan onto the cooling rack pretty easily.

Note: Don’t leave the loaf cooling on the pan or any other solid surface, to avoid a soggy bottom.  Always use a cooling rack, or alternatively let the bread/buns cool on a stove top grates (in case you don’t have a cooling rack).

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Make sure to snatch a couple before they’re all gone `coz they will be sooner than you think!

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