Sunday, March 17, 2013
Easter wreath - Húsvéti kalácskoszorú
Easter is knocking on the door and I confess, I'm in very festive mood. Not only had summer arrived to SD, which definitely brings even more energy with the lengthy sunny hours, my knee is in the track of recovery and makes me fly of happiness, but with my agoraphobia I rather stick to baking. :)
Well, at least this challah wreath gets posted in time to be tried and, if liked, baked for Easter, not like my Runebergin torttu which got baked in time, but the post arrived a bit late..
I made two versions of the challah, one with walnuts and one with poppy seeds. I'm a poppy seed person, so I would definitely go for that :) for Easter, but the walnut version wasn't bad either. It reminded me of kürtőskalács. Ajajjj... I would definitely prefer the kürtőskalács baked over fire... but let's not be unfair, and let this challah enjoy the spotlight this time.
500 g bread flour (1.1 pounds)
50 g sugar (100 ml, a bit less than 1/5 cup)
250 ml milk (1 cup)
1 tbsp dry yeast or 40 g fresh yeast (1 cube)
150 g butter (1 1/3 stick)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla essence or 1 vanilla bean
1 grated lemon peel (or orange)
0.5 dl milk to brush the crust at the end, optional, it makes the crust softer, and the crumb a bit heavier, but you can choose to use a little, or not at all, of course, it is optional
pearl sugar/brown sugar (optional) to sprinkle on top
50 g butter, melted
200 g minced walnuts
100 g sugar
100 g poppy seeds, minced (you can try 200 poppy seeds as well, to me it looked too black to add the same amount of poppy seeds than walnuts, but I bet there are people who like it with looots of poppy seeds :) )
70 g sugar, 80 g if you are have a sweet tooth :)
1 small egg
In the lukewarm milk let the yeast trot for 5-10 minutes, with a large pinch of sugar.
In a larger bowl mix the flour with the sugar, salt and vanilla beans.
Melt the butter (add the vanilla essence if you are not using vanilla beans).
Pour the melted butter in the flour, mix well, add milk and work it very well together in a smooth, airy dough.
Or, pour everything in the blender and let it work for you for ~5 minutes.
Cover the dough with a cloth and let it stay for ~45 minutes until rises to double size. If needed leave it for an hour (even more). It is probably the most critical part to have the dough risen properly.
Roll out the dough to about 40x30cm, spread the melted butter on the dough and sprinkle the sugar/walnut-poppy seed filling on it, and roll it up.
Cut ~2 cm thick slices towards the middle, but not completely 'till the middle, and lightly turn them on their side.
Use 1 egg to brush the challah well all over, sides, and turned pieces.
Let it sit for 10-15 min.
Preheat the oven to 225 C, 435 F. Bake at 225 C (435 F) for 25 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from oven. You can either cover it with a cloth for couple of minutes until cools down, or if you want a softer crust use 0.5 dl milk and brush it all over. It won't take the shine away, and it will be absorbed right away.