Sunday, December 18, 2011

Maple Challah with a Helping Hand

As many of you know I work in food service at Saks Fifth Avenue’s New York store. You can probably imagine how busy I’ve been. I have had little time for home cooking or photographing our dishes at work.

I have minimal experience of baking and want to experiment in the new year and thought I’d get a jumpstart.  I recently purchased a bread machine and have used it to make a few loaves and while they were pretty good I wanted to use it on the dough cycle and finish shaping and baking in a regular oven.

My first choice was to make some challah bread but I realized I had no honey so I replaced it with maple  syrup. It was really quite delicious. This recipe will make two small loaves but I decided to make one loaf and some other dinner roll sized pieces, I basically just made knots. I found a silicone pan for mini brioche at my local discount store for three dollars and I think think the individual rolls cooked in them looked really good.


3/4 stick margarine almost melted
1 cup warm water
2 eggs
1/2 cup maple Syrup
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon yeast

You can put ingredients in machine in order recommended by manufacturer. I put all wet ingredients first and then the dry. . Turn on your dough cycle and you let the machine do the first part of the kneading and proofing.  I really should have kneaded more flour into the dough but I will know better next time.

Bread Machine

Once the dough cycle has finished you “punch down” the dough and then shape it as you like. The bread machine really is quite a good tool which with a little extra effort by the user you can get quite good results. This was a learning experience for me and I feel I can produce some interesting breads with some practice.