Who isn't a fan of the drama?
"Dramatics your honor!"
Well, I LOVE the drama. That's why I decided to play with my food, and add zinc to my bakes.
All of the photos on this post were shot by: Dror Einav
What started as a curious attempt to create a dramatic photo, turned out to be a huge success and now, this challah even made it into my weekly bake sale.
What makes it black?
I don't know if you know much about zinc, i sure didn't use to. Turns out, aside from being a natural black food coloring (way better then the gelly ones, by the way), it's very good for you.
I'm sure if you'll search online you'll find some shops that sale this powder, but I buy it from this website, that also provides most of my powders (agar, xanthen etc).
So, shall we?!
550 g bread flour
8 g instant dry yeast
160 ML room temp' water
50 g sugar
20 g honey
15 g salt
2 large eggs
3 egg yolks
15 g zinc powder
60 ML olive oil
Poppyseed or black sesame to top
1 egg for egg wash
In a mixer with the hook attachment, mix all of the ingredients aside from the oil, poppyseed / black sesame and egg for egg wash.
Mix the ingredients on slow speed.
Once dough forms, up the speed to slow medium speed, for about 5 more minutes to form a gluten structure.
After 5 minutes, lower the speed once more, and add the olive oil, kneading until it fully incorporates.
The dough will no longer be shiny, yet be very smooth and homogenous.
Remove from the mixer, and place in a slightly greased bowl for bulk fermentation -> about 1 hour at room temperature.
After an hour, place the dough on the work surface. If the dough isn't too sticky avoid using extra flour on your work surface, it only dries the dough out.
Divide the dough into 100 g pieces, make into a log shape, and set aside for bench rest.
The bench rest, is essential. If you let your dough rest for about 10-15 minutes, it will be Much easier to work with, the dough will resist less, and won't tear.
Roll the pieces of dough out to strands, even length, and if wanted, even width. I personally love to roll my strands out so they are chubby in the middle and skinny at the ends.
Attach 4 strands to form a cross shape:
Now, let's start braiding our 4 strand Challah!
Don't panic - I also attached a video on the bottom of the post for you to use.
Let's start with our horizontal strands:
The right strand -> goes left.
The left strand -> goes right.
Right strand always crosses under the left one, like so:
Now, the vertical strands:
Always hold the bottom strand in your right hand, and the top strand in your left hand.
Bottom always crosses to the right, Top always crosses to the left:
Now, keep going until you reach the end of your dough, the end of your challah, really, and squeeze the ends, to ensure they don't open during the baking process.
Place your challah on a sheet pan lined with a baking paper, and brush with egg wash.
Let the challah proof for about an hour.
Meanwhile, heat an oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Brush the challahs again with egg, and top with poppyseed, black sesame, or nothing - which ever way you like.
Bake for 25-35 minutes.
Once the challahs are baked through, remove from the oven and let them cool before you snack on them.
Feel free to send my photos of your final products! Maybe I'll post them on my Instagram page @lioroooosh.
Here's the demo video for the braiding: