Challa Baking Help

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  • #611680

    streekgeek
    Participant

    How do you prevent the tops of braided challos from cracking while baking? I’m getting so frustrated!!!

    #997831

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Less yeast.

    #997832

    streekgeek
    Participant

    Seriously? I’m a bit nervous about tinkering with recipes as I’m pretty new to the whole kitchen scene but I’ll try that out next week.

    Thanks!

    #997833

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Well, alternatively let it rise for less time.

    It cracks because the yeast is too active in the dough, either because it rose too much, or because there is too much yeast.

    Isn’t there like some expert challah lady you can call for advice?

    #997834

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    i’ve never heard of that happening from too much yeast. Too much flour maybe.

    #997835

    streekgeek
    Participant

    Isn’t there like some expert challah lady you can call for advice?

    Sure there is, you tell me. Which one of your wives?

    #997836

    streekgeek
    Participant

    Truth is, the dough actually rose for a lot longer than I intended cuz I had to run out somewhere… Oh well! There’s always a second chance to get it right (and a third, and a fourth…)

    #997837

    streekgeek
    Participant

    Syag – Why flour?

    #997838

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    No, there really is a lady who answers challah shailos, but I don’t want to post her name online.

    #997839

    streekgeek
    Participant

    PBA – Seriously? There’s someone who does that? That’s really special cuz there are some people who seriously need help with challa baking. Like me. She does it as a chessed or does she charge for her advice?

    #997840

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    the dough can rise indefinitely if the flour has elasticity. if it is cracking than I am guessing that it is too stiff to expand. more oil could make it smoother and stretchier.

    #997841

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    As a chessed. Ask around in person. (Ask like brooklyn people, especially like boro park people).

    #997842

    streekgeek
    Participant

    So more oil and less flour? I’m already in denial of how much oil is in that recipe already…

    #997843

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Nech nech, you don’t need to put in more oil. You can certainly have a non-cracking challa without any oil.

    That isn’t to say that more oil would not solve it also. There may be multiple solutions. Next time try rising it less, and see if that helps.

    #997844

    streekgeek
    Participant

    PBA – Will do. Thanks for the lead!

    #997845

    rc
    Participant

    dont stretch the dough when rolling your ropes and make sure it has risen properly,

    #997846

    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    Her name is Devorah Heller, and she doesn’t mind being posted online, and I’ve called her.

    The reason your challah is cracking is because it rose too much. Have it rise less next time and you’ll be fine.

    #997847

    streekgeek
    Participant

    T613 – Thanks! I’ll archive that name for future reference.

    So I’ll try cutting down on the rising time while making sure it has risen enough. That’s a real fine line I’m dealing with. How long do you let a dough rise that uses dry yeast (I think, the type that come in a bag and looks like granulated brown sugar)?

    #997848

    oomis
    Participant

    the dough can rise indefinitely if the flour has elasticity. if it is cracking than I am guessing that it is too stiff to expand. more oil could make it smoother and stretchier.

    Try this (and don’t over-flour the dough, as well)if you rise it too much, punch it down AGAIN, knead briefly, rehape, and re-rise, keeping closer tabs on the time. Dough can be punched down a few times and allowed to rise again.

    #997849

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    I defer to the expert, I’ve just never experienced it. I will say that I have now been using Rebbitzen Kanievsky’s recipe (as I mentioned on some other thread somewhere) and I have never had dough so soft and smooth on a consistent basis before. Bli Ayin Hora (incase you had any thoughts of that)

    #997850

    streekgeek
    Participant

    oomis – Thanks! I’ll try that as well.

    I really can’t switch recipes cuz my family would never let – I use my mother’s recipe that she’s been using for ages…but for some reason it just doesn’t come out the same way.

    #997851

    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit
    Participant

    streekgeek- try using oil instead of flour to braid the dough. put a small amount of oil on the surface, and coat your hands. This gives the dough the elasticity that oomis was saying prevents cracking. It also makes cleanup easier, as you only need a bit of soap water to wipe it all away.

    #997852

    streekgeek
    Participant

    Gamanit – interesting idea. I could definitely give that a shot. Thanks!

    #997853

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I will say that I have now been using Rebbitzen Kanievsky’s recipe

    Has anyone besides me noticed that 2.5 kilograms of flour is not 5 lbs? In other words, the BY cookbook did not multiply her recipe correctly at all?

    (On that topic, if she made the recipe with 1 kilo, why in the world does my sister-in-law need to make it with 5 lbs and take challa? Is she better than rebbetzin kanievsky?)

    #997854

    streekgeek
    Participant

    BTW I appreciate all your responses. Pray for me that the challa tastes as good as it smells, and not as bad as it looks!

    Have a great Shabbos all!

    #997855

    streekgeek
    Participant

    Just letting y’all know. Just finished a batch of challas and they came out gorgeous!! Too bad I can’t post a picture, you’d all be so proud 😉

    So what I was very on top of the rising situation, cut the time on that down a bit. I didn’t flour the table like I usually do, and I used oil instead like Gamanit suggested.

    So I really thank you all! As does my family and guests!

    Shabbat Shalom!

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