I have decided to try to enter a few more challenges or blog round ups. So far, the only one that I have managed to do with any sort of regularity is Weekend Herb Blogging. But when I read about bread baking day on Chris's blog I decided that this was something that I could do. After all, I bake bread usually once a week. As I read more about it, I realized that the theme was shaped breads. Ahh..I've never made a shaped bread before, so this sounded like a perfectly challenging challenge.
Um, challenging it was. I found a recipe in The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook, by Beth Hensperger. The recipe was for an Apple Challah, which sounded intriguing. You make the dough and make an apple filling. Then you divide the dough into 3 equal parts, roll it out, fill each part with filling, form a strand, and then braid those 3 strands. Intriguing, yes, within my skill level, no.
As you can see in the pictures, after about 30 minutes of rising, the dough began to split. Since this is my first time ever attempting something like this, I can't rule out user error. The recipe may be fine, I just don't have the talent to make it work. Though, I have to say that I think that there were too many apples. The recipe calls for 3, I had at least 3/4 a cup left over and I still feel like I used too much in the bread. I also think the apple mixture was too wet. I drained it like it said, but there was still quite a bit of liquid which made the dough sort of liquidy and weak. And if I make this again, which I might (because I absolutely hate when a recipe doesn't work like it should), I think the apple mixture should not be in the center, but just slightly to one side to make rolling easier.
So, I know that this is not a shining example for my first entry into Bread Baking Day, but I don't have time to make another. Plus I have a cold and feel pretty miserable, so this is it. Hopefully, better results next time. This months Bread Baking Day is being hosted by Eva at Sweet Sins.
Adapted From The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook
3/4 cup water
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
3 medium tart baking apples, peeled, cored and diced
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons hone
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons granulated sugar for sprinkling.
Place dough ingredients in the bread machine in the order recommended by your manufacturer. Process dough on dough setting.
Prepare the filling by combining the apples, lemon juice, honey and cinnamon in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to fill the dough. Drain before using.
When the dough cycle is complete, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rectangle about 12 by 3 inches. Brush with melted butter and place 1/3 of the filling down the center. Starting from a long edge, roll up each rectangle, jelly roll style and pinch the seam to seal.
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the 3 ropes on the sheet and braid, alternating the outside ropes over the center. Sprinkle with sugar and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a rack.