Justin & Meredith Winokur's Kitchen Cooking Notebook

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Six Strand Challah Braiding -- back to top

Challah Braid

How to braid challah:

Make Challah per your favorite recipe.View page

To shape the dough:

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle a little more flour over it. Spread and flatten the dough a bit, but don't worry about punching it down. Cut it into six equal pieces. Set aside the dough pieces, cover them lightly with plastic, and brush all the flour off the work surface. Have a small bowl of water handy. Using no flour, roll a piece of dough with a rolling pin into a very thin sheet, between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick (don't worry about making a rectangle; an amoeba-type shape is fine). The dough may stick to the work surface; this is all rightjust nudge it gently with a dough scraper. Tightly roll up the sheet like a carpet to form a strand. Roll the strand back and forth between your hands until it's thin, very even, and 12 to 15 inches long. At the ends of the strand,angle the outer edge of your hands into the work surface as you're rolling to make the ends pointy and the strand thicker in the middle (This will help you get a football-shaped loaf). The strand needs to grip the work surface slightly during this rolling;the "grab" will help as youroll. If the strand is too slick, very lightly dampen it with water to help it grip the work surface better. Repeat the rolling out, rolling up, and elongating steps with the remaining five pieces of dough, rolling them out to the same length. Lightly sprinkle all the strands with flour to prevent them from sticking to one another during proofing. Arrange the strands parallel to one another. At one end, gather and pinch the strands very tightly together. Weight the end with a heavy canister to keep the braid from moving and to leave your hands free, and braid closely, following the illustrations below. Lightly tap each end of the loaf with your palms to tuck it under the loaf.

Transfer the braid to the lined baking sheet and cover it loosely but thoroughly with plastic wrap. Let proof until doubled in bulk and the loaf remains indented when lightly pressed, about 2 hours, depending on room temperature. (If in doubt, let the dough proof more rather than less.)

To bake:

Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Just before baking, brush the dough with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds, if using. Optional - With a thin wooden skewer, pokethe bread deeply all over (the holes will prevent air pockets and help the bread keep its shape during baking). Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate thechallah 180degrees and bake until the bread is a dark, burnished brown, about another 15 minutes. (If the challah is browning too rapidly cover it loosely with foil and let it finish baking. Don't remove the loaf too soon, as you'll risk underbaking.) Let cool thoroughly on a rack.

Original Wordpress ID and Date: 7264, 2014-02-13_113937

Bagels -- back to top

From Dad's recipe book, page 10

Mix oil, sugar, salt and water. When like warm, at yeast and stir. Beat egg until foamy and add to yeast mixture. Mix in flour. Knead until smooth. Shape into 12-15 donuts. Cover and let rise for 10 minutes. Drop one at a time into boiling water approx 2-3 minutes. Remove and put on a well greased cooky [sic] sheet. Sprinkly with seeds if desired wile they are wet. Bake at 400 for 20-25 min.

Original Wordpress ID and Date: 1483, 2011-10-29_095520

Beer Bread -- back to top

Beer Bread

Mix together all but beer. Slowly add beer. Bake in a greased loaf pan for one hour at 350-375.

Original Wordpress ID and Date: 7357, 2014-02-13_151412

Extra-tangy sourdough bread -- back to top

Extra-tangy sourdough bread

Extra rising time in a cool environment gives this bread assertively sour flavor. No. we didn't make a mistake here; there's no added yeast in this recipe. Less yeast allows the dough rise longer, developing extra-sour flavor.



Pour the cup of starter into a large mixing bowl. Add the warm water and 3 cups of flour. Beat vigorously. Cover with plastic wrap and set it aside to rest at cool room temperature (68F to 70F is optimal) for 4 hours. Then refrigerate overnight, or for about 12 hours.

Add the remaining ingredients, kneading to form a smooth,soft dough. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise till very puffy though not necessarily doubled,about 5 hours.

Divide the dough in half, and shape into two oval loaves. Place on a baking sheet, cover, and let rise till doubled, about 2 to 3 hours.

Slash the tops of the loaves, and bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack. Yield: 2 loaves.

Find complete step-by-step photos for both of these breads, as well as other sourdough treats, online at

Original Wordpress ID and Date: 7381, 2014-02-13_175517

Maple Walnut Whole Wheat and Oat Loaf -- back to top


Maple Walnut Whole Wheat and Oat Loaf

Yield: 1 Large Round Loaf



  1. Combine the water, yeast and maple syrup in a bowl. Stir to dissolve the yeast.
  2. Add the flours, oats, sea salt and half of the walnuts. Knead by hand or in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough hook until the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes. Knead in the remaining walnuts.
  3. Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly and let the dough ferment and rise until doubled in bulk, from 1 1/2 to 3 hours, longer in very cold weather.
  4. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Form it into a tight ball.
  5. Line a medium sized bowl with a clean cloth dish towel. Sprinkle it with some flour and rolled oats. Place the dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap . Let proof until expanded 1 1/2 times in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Lightly sprinkle the base with more rolled oats. Transfer the ball of dough onto the base. Using a serrated knife, make several cuts on the surface of the dough in a cross hatch pattern.
  7. Cover with the cloche and bake in a preheated 450°F oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400°F and continue baking until the bread is evenly browned and crisp, about 25 to 30 more minutes.
  8. Cool the bread on a wire rack.

Original Wordpress ID and Date: 7016, 2013-12-16_163425

"Mom's Bread" (Challah) -- back to top

aka Baba Joan's Bread (Challah)


Put yeast in 1/2 cup water let rise until it looks like beer. Mix dry ingredients, add wet. Mix well adding additional water to get a moist but barely sticky dough*. Knead until elastic.

Let rise until double and knead again. Shape and put in pans or on a tray if braided. Let rise again. brush with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds if desired.

Bake at 350°F for approximately half an hour.


From Dad's recipe book. Page 1.

Put yeast in water - let rise ntil it looks like beer. Mix dry ingredients, add wet. Mix well and knead. Let rise and knead again. Shake and put in pans. Let rise. Bake at 350°F for approximately half an hour.

Original Wordpress ID and Date: 370, 2010-09-12_194037

Parmesan Flat Bread -- back to top

Parmesan Flat Bread

Combine dry ingredients except cheese. Combine milk and 1/3 cup butter and add to flour mixture mixing just until mixed. Spread into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Brush with remaining butter, sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes or until top is crisp and golden brown,. Cut into rectangles and serve warm.

Original Wordpress ID and Date: 7367, 2014-02-13_171328

Rustic sourdough bread -- back to top

Rustic sourdough bread

This full-flavored, not aggressively sour bread is a good introduction to the sourdough process.



Combine all of the ingredients, kneading to form a smooth, soft dough, adding a bit of additional flour if needed.Place dough in a greased bowl. cover, and let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.

Divide the dough in half and shape into two oval loaves. Place on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise till very puffy, about 60 minutes. Slash the tops, and bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 30 minutes. or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack. Yield: 2 loaves.

Original Wordpress ID and Date: 7376, 2014-02-13_174345

Sourdough Starter Basics -- back to top

Sourdough Starter Basics (From King Arthur Flour - buy their starter it's wonderful)

Your sourdough starter, a descendant of one that began its life over 250 years ago, may look a little the worse for wear after its trip. It may also have a sharp, astringent odor; this is normal. What it needs is food and water, but be careful not to consume raw starter yourself.

Use chlorine-free tap water (or bottled water) to feed your starter. Add l/4 cup lukewarm water to the starter container, and stir with a spoon to partially dissolve the starter and loosen it from the container. Place the starter/water in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water and 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour. Mix, loosely cover the bowl, and let it sit at cool room temperature (about 68F to 70F) for 8 to 12 hours. It should expand and become bubbly, or at least start to bubble. Stir the starter and discard about half; this will bring the acidity to the proper level.

Mix in l /2 cup water and l cup flour. Let it sit for another 2 to 4 hours or till it starts to show bubbles again. Divide it in half once more: give half to a friend or discard, as you choose. Feed the remaining half with l /2 cup water and 1 cup flour. Let rest at room temperature, covered, for another 2 to 4 hours. Now the starter can be used, or refrigerated in a 1-quart (or larger) loosely covered non-reactive container.

Using your starter in a recipe: making "fed" or "ripe" starter

If your starter has been refrigerated, you need to feed it before you use it in a recipe. Up to 12 hours before beginning a recipe, stir the starter and discard 1 cup. Feed the remaining starter with 1 /2 cup water and l cup flour. Let it sit for 4 to 12 hours before using in a recipe. Use however much "fed starter" the recipe calls for, and feed the remainder with 112 cup water and 1 cup flour. Let this remaining starter sit at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours, until bubbly, then cover and refrigerate.

If you're not planning to use your starter for over a week, take it out and feed it once a week as described above. Start by discarding (or using) 1 cup of the starter. After mixing in more flour and water, you can return the starter to the refrigerator without waiting for it to get bubbly first.

Maintaining your starter

When to start over: If your sourdough starter begins to mold, or the odor is not the usual clean, sour aroma (on alcohol smell is OK), or if it develops a pink or orange color, throw it out. It's very rare for this to happen, so don't worry. ..

Original Wordpress ID and Date: 7374, 2014-02-13_173715

Sourdough Waffles from King Arthur Flour -- back to top

Thanks to King Arthur Flour


Overnight sponge

Waffle or pancake batter

Tips from our bakers


  1. To make the overnight sponge, stir down your refrigerated starter, and remove 1 cup.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the 1 cup starter, flour, sugar, and buttermilk.

  3. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight.

  4. In a small bowl or mixing cup, beat together the eggs, and oil or butter. Add to the overnight sponge.

  5. Add the salt and baking soda, stirring to combine. The batter will bubble.

  6. Pour batter onto your preheated, greased waffle iron, and bake according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  7. Serve waffles immediately, to ensure crispness. Or hold in a warm oven till ready to serve.

Yield: 1 dozen 8" waffles or about 2 dozen medium pancakes.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 waffle or 2 pan
Servings Per Batch: 12 waffles or 24 pancakes
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190 Calories from Fat: 50 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g. Cholesterol: 35mg Sodium: 300mg Total Carbohydrate: 27g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 5g Protein: 6g.

Original Wordpress ID and Date: 7253, 2014-02-13_111734