Losing my braids! Sourdough Challah, part 2

Okay, so if anyone knows what could cause Maggie Glezer’s sourdough challahs to lose the definition of their braids between rising and baking, please let me know!!!  (p.s.  this also happened the last time I baked this recipe – photos here and here)

Continuing the sourdough experiment yesterday afternoon, after five hours’ rise time, we brushed the loaves with egg and sprinkled with sesame.  Naomi did the brushing.  We sprinkled the “quick-rise” same-day challahs for our neighbours with poppy seeds because they’re water challahs.  Don’t ask me why:  egg challah = sesame; water challah = poppy.

Brushing on the egg:

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Sprinkling the seeds:

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Look how loose the braids are already, after brushing and sprinkling.  The dough looks quite slack to me now.  Overrisen, maybe???  That’s certainly never happened to my sourdough before…

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After baking, quick-rise same-day challahs, nicely done:

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Maggie Glezer sourdough challahs?  Not so much.  Y\ou can’t see it well here, but these were basically big puffed-up ovals of bread; the definition of the braids was almost completely gone.

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Still – they were nice inside, and – to my surprise – even better (and sweeter; weird!) today at lunchtime.

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This was not my favourite challah, however.  Despite the absolutely perfect, light texture, I found it too eggy. 

I wonder if I could do it again only leave out the egg?  At what point does it cease to be a sourdough challah and just become sourdough bread that happens to be braided?

Meanwhile, I found a couple of recipes in Bread Bakers Apprentice that I want to try, including a lovely semolina bread (sicilian?).  After tomorrow’s bake sale pletzl, of course…

I mixed up the no-knead dough for that on Thursday night so hopefully it’ll be ready to go tomorrow.


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