Challah question!
Posted: 23 August 2010 11:02 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I already posted this message on a separate forum, but I realized it may not be seen, so my apologies beforehand if this is the second time anyone sees it.

In the Bread Bible, I am puzzled by the Challah recipe. On page 521 of the Bread Bible, under “Ultimate Flavor Variation,” it says to place the sponge in the fridge to allow it to ferment after sitting at room temperature for one hour. As part of Step 2, it says to sprinkle the flour, yeast, and salt in the “flour mixture” portion of the recipe, and sprinkle that mixture on top. Should I blanket the flour mixture on top of the sponge prior to putting it in the fridge? I am hoping the answer is yes because I’ve already done so! I hope this isn’t too silly of a question, but this is my first real jab at bread making!

Thank you in advance for any tips offered!

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Posted: 23 August 2010 11:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It will work the same either way, but I think the intention is that you cover it with the “blanket” before putting it to bed for the night in the fridge smile Good luck with your first bread!

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Posted: 24 August 2010 09:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thank you, Matthew! I was confused by the wording and was worried I was reading into it too much!
What is the purpose of the flour blanket? Is it to protect the sponge or perhaps to chill the flour mixture? Aah, I so much love learning about bread making.

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Posted: 29 August 2010 11:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’ve been interpreting it as 1. Make the sponge and let it sit overnight in the fridge; 2. Sprinkle the flour mixture on top and let it sit 1-4 hours, then mix the dough.  This is how I interpret all of the white bread recipes as well.

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Posted: 30 August 2010 12:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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See page 33. She says it is to protect the sponge, but if you have the bowl tightly covered, I don’t think it really matters. One thing I have found is that for more complex breads like pumpernickel, making the blanket at the same time as the sponge saves time as you don’t have to drag all the same ingredients out again. Otherwise, I haven’t noticed any difference.

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Posted: 30 August 2010 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thank you both. That makes sense and I’m going to read that excerpt right after typing this out. Bread making is so interesting!

The challah loaves made turned out well! Thank you for such speedy replies.

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