I have a list.

This list is chocked full of things I want to do to better myself and hopefully, find happiness.  On this list are:  Gear my diet (and by diet, I don’t mean the loose-weight kind) towards more whole foods.  Become more active through hiking, kayaking, and biking.  Practice piano (this is more of a necessity that I have avoided up until now…).  Spend more time in the kitchen and sharing on my blog.  And finally, spend a lot more time with my camera.

So this past weekend I went hiking, practiced piano, cooked, went to the farm, and found a couple of couples that were willing to be my test subjects.  I absolutely adore photography (especially people) and I still have so much to learn.  However, I learn best my hands-on experience (and trial/error) so what better way to learn than get out there and practice!

All in all, I had a great weekend.

Now, if you ask me why I decided to make challah, I have no answer.  I had extra sweet potato puree and thought to myself, “I should make some sort of bread with this” and challah is what I came up with.

To be fair, I wasn’t even going to post this because at first I thought the sweet potato didn’t do anything.  Sure, the loaf was slightly darker than it normally would have been but there wasn’t much color and no taste.

So, I dismissed this recipe.

Until I realized that even two days later the challah was still extremely moist and delicious.  Then I thought back and realized that the bread had always been extremely moist and delicious.  The sweet potato added a little extra “umph” to the bread that made it that much better!  I will definitely be making another loaf like this!

(Also, fair warning, the picture of braiding the challah into a six braid should be classified as how not to do it.  I tried three times before giving up and braiding it how I wanted.  The instructions were clear; my brain was not.)

Whole Wheat Challah
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-16
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2½ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoons + ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup sunflower oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2+ cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • Topping:
  • 1 egg
  • poppy or sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Combine warm water, yeast, and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit for five minutes or until yeast begins to become active. (if it doesn’t, check your water temperature or date of your yeast.)
  2. Stir the rest of the sugar, sweet potato, salt, eggs, and 1 cup of the whole wheat flour into the yeast mixture. Mix until combine and start mixer with dough hook. Continue to add the remaining wheat flour and as much all-purpose flour as you need until dough begins to pull away from the side of the mixer. I recommend adding all of the whole wheat flour and then continuing to add ½ cup of all purpose. You can always add more flour, you can’t take it out! Continue to knead until dough becomes smooth and elastic (around 8-10 minutes longer.)
  3. Remove from mixer, place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover, and set in a warm place. Let rise until doubled- around an hour. After the first rise, punch down the dough, cover, and let rise for another half-hour.
  4. After the first two rises, remove dough from bowl and divide into three pieces. (six if you feel ambitious). For a three braid challah, roll each ball of dough into a strand and place the three strands parallel to each other on a flour surface. Pinch the ends together and braid like you would a hair braid. (For excellent instructions on six braid, visit Deb’s site.) Place loaf on an oiled sheet tray. Place loaf in warm spot and let rise again until doubled- half hour to forty-five minutes.
  5. Towards the end of the second rise, preheat oven to 375˚. In a bow, mix one egg yolk with two tablespoons of water- brush loaf (making sure entire surface is covered.) Sprinkle with poppy seeds (or sesame, which is what I like!) Place in oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown.

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