But one aspect that is always pretty organized both in my house and in my mind are cookbooks and food related magazines. I know my recipes; you’d be amazed how I remember where a certain recipe was, even if it’s from a magazine, and I have hundreds. Well, most of the time anyway.So, after selling the cafe, narrowing down my textile clients which allow me to focus and not have a million fabrics and projects going on at the same time, my house is starting to get rid of clutter or stuff from those ‘in between moments’ when you don´t know where you’re going, and feel the need to keep everything.
Add to that the recent flood that hit my neighborhood and arbitrarily rid my house of things, whether I wanted or not. Some were welcome, some not so much. But there were no options.Now, I can say I’m considering taking advantage of this sort of clean slate that I have been forced into. It’s not so simple, it’s very confusing and maddening at times, but it’s permeating my mind during the day and keeping me awake during the night. Big changes are a certain thing in my life in the next months. Lets see where they take me.
Cinnamon Sugar Challah
Yield 2 medium braids
For the bread:
- 7 ½ to 8 cups all purpose flour
- 2 ½ cups warm water
- 2 Tbs active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup + 1 Tbs sugar
- 3 large eggs, room tº
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
For the filling:
- 3 Tbs heavy cream
- 4 Tbs sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the bread:
- In a large bowl or in the work bowl of a stand mixer, place 6 cups of the flour.
- Make a well in the center with your hand and pour ½ cup of the water and sprinkle yeast and 1 Tbs of sugar over the water. Stir the water gently to dissolve the yeast (some of the flour will be incorporated) and let stand 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining sugar, remaining water, eggs, oil and salt and mix with a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment until a shaggy mass is formed. This dough comes together quickly.
- If using stand mixer knead for 6 or 7 minutes, adding additional flour 1 Tbs at a time if needed to form a smooth and springy but not dry dough.
- If kneading by hand turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 6 to 8 minutes adding additional flour 1 Tbs at a time if needed to form a smooth and springy but not dry dough.
- Place the dough in a greased deep container. Turn over to coat with oil, cover with film and let rise in a warm, draft free area until doubled, about 2 to 2 ½ hours. Don't let rise more than doubled.
- Gently deflate dough down, cover again and let rise until almost doubled, about 1 hour.
- Gently deflate dough. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and divide in 2 equal portions. Roll each piece into a rectangle. Brush with half the cream. Sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar. Repeat with other rectangle.
- Roll up like you would cinnamon rolls, starting at the long edge. Transfer the rolls to a greased parchment paper that will fit the baking tray. (You can use two papers and baking trays, or keep one half of the dough in the refrigerator while you roll and let the other rise. When ready to bake the first one, take the second piece of dough out, roll, fill and let rise. Bake one at a time).
- Cut the roll in two, exposing the filling. Put the ropes side by side and pinch the edges together on one end. Twist the two halves together carefully. Pinch the other end. Bring the two ends together to form a rope. Transfer the parchment paper carefully to the baking tray.
- Cover loosely with some foil or parchment paper and let rise until it's spongy but not quite doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF / 180ºC about 20 minutes before baking.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until sugar has caramelized, bread is deeply golden and bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
- Let cool on wire rack before slicing.
For the filling:
- Mix cinnamon and sugar in a bowl.
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