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Schooner Mary Day’s Challah recipe

Cathy Lemarre Chef Cathy’s Challah bread!

Most of the Maine Windjammers use wood cookstoves. The Windjammer cooks make fresh bread daily in them. Eating freshly baked bread out of the wood stove is always divine. Chef Cathy from the Mary Day uses this Challah recipe – it’s a great dinner bread and makes wonderful French toast the next morning as well. (Makes 2 loaves)

1 1/2 cups cold milk

1 ounce fresh compressed yeast

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 ounce vanilla sugar (see note)

1 Tbsp salt

2 whole eggs

2 egg yolks

1 pound 8 ounces bread flour

1/3 cup mild olive oil

Egg wash

Poppy and/or sesame seeds

Dissolve the yeast in the cold milk. Add the vanilla extract, vanilla sugar, salt, whole eggs, and egg yolks. Using a dough hook, mix in all but a few handfuls of the flour.

Add the olive oil and knead the dough on low speed for 15 minutes, adding the reserved flour, if necessary, to correct the consistency.

Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place until it has doubled in volume.

Punch the dough down. Cover it and let it rise again until the dough doubles in volume a second time.

Punch the dough down and divide it into six 8 ounce pieces.

Using three pieces for each braid, pound and roll the pieces into strings then braid them together.

Transfer the breads to sheet pans and let them rise until they are 1 1/2 times their original size. Brush with the egg wash, then sprinkles with poppy sees and/or sesame seeds, if desired.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35 minutes. The loaves should be a deep golden brown and sound hollow when you tap on the bottom of them.

Note: If you don’t have vanilla sugar, you can substitute granulated sugar and increase the vanilla extract by 1 teaspoon.

Category: Food and Recipes

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