Parfait! Challah (for better rolls)

15aChallahRollsDoneServerbfLOWho knew?

I had made a lot of Challah as sammich rolls, just breaking the dough into small pieces, rolling it into balls, then baking it; but the rolls were kinda on the small side.

Then we bought this biscuit cutter thing so Rich could make a couple of Cinnamon Coffee Rings and I got to thinking… how would THAT work with the challah?

Like a treat, as it happens.

•3 tbsp sugar
•1 pkg active dry yeast (2-1/4 tsp)
•1/4 cup warm water (105 – 115°)
•3-1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
•1-1/2 tsp table salt
•1/2 cup cold water
03ChallahYeastProofButterbfLO•1/3 cup unsalted butter
(5 tbsp + 1 tsp), melted
•1 large egg, lightly beaten

Egg Glaze:
•1 large egg and 1 tablespoon water

Stir together 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the yeast with the warm water in a 2 cup measuring cup and let rest for 15 minutes until the mixture gets foamy.

04ChallahDoughProcessorbfLOUsing the dough blade (that little plastic thing-y), combine the flour, remaining tablespoon of sugar, and the salt in the bowl of your food processor by pulsing 4 or 5 times.

Add the cold water, melted butter, and lightly beaten egg to the yeast mixture in the measuring cup, then, with the processor running, stream into the flour mixture through the feed tube.

Once the dough comes together in a ball, continue processing for 45 seconds to knead dough – my Cuisinart started doing a little 07ChallahRisenbfLOdance on the countertop, so I took that as a sign of kneading well and truly done.

Lightly flour a gallon-sized zipper bag and pop the dough in.

Seal the bag and stash in a warm spot on the counter to rise for an hour or two until the dough has doubled in size. If you get busy and forget the dough for a bit longer, don’t worry, all will be fine.

09ChallahDoughCutbfLOWhen you do get back to the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured board and punch it down; get ready, here comes the cool bit…

In the past, as noted above, I would divide the dough into more-or-less evenly sized pieces and roll them into little balls; this time, I rolled the dough out on the board and cut out six circles with a 3-1/2″ biscuit cutter, which I then popped onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

13ChallahEggWashbfLOI then mashed the leftover dough back together, rolled it out, and cut another six circles out, which I placed on top of the earlier six on the baking pan. I had dough left over to make two more, roughly shaped, rolls, which I flattened and folded onto themselves to make an even eight rolls.

Toss a clean kitchen towel over the pan and set aside to rise for 45 minutes.

Heat the oven to 375°.

Whisk the egg and the water together, then brush over the risen rolls.

14ChallahRollsBakedbfLOBake for 15 to 25 minutes (my oven is acting up, so timing is vague; keep an eye on them) until the rolls are beautifully golden brown and light – they’ll kinda look like doughnuts.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

These were more than fine with my Chicken-In-A-Pickle sammich; and would make pretty darned tasty hamburger buns, too.

16ChallahChickenSammichbfLOIf you like, you could sprinkle the dough with sesame or poppy seeds just after you’ve brushed the egg wash on, to give them that whole authentic burger-joint vibe.

I’m thinking of shaping the rolls into tubes suitable for sausages, but that’s a Parfait! for another day.

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