Friday, August 29, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper & Feta Challah Knots

Well, hello, Strangers!

I've been scratching my head a lot lately wondering what in the world I would
post here to break my apparent silence.
I've started no less than half a dozen posts in recent days, but none seemed quite right.
Life here is relatively boring (albeit never without drama and whatnot)!

But today I had a breakthrough and decided that there's nothing like a 
scrumptious recipe to get back on the blogging stage!

As you know, I bake a lot.  Like, A LOT.
Practically. Every. Single. Day.
And I really love to twist recipes into my own and make them something new and unique.
Today was one of those days!

I made Roasted Red Pepper & Feta Challah Knots.

Challah, pronounced  [khah-luh, hah].
Actually, I'm not sure why they have the K in there because you really don't hear that so much.
And I'll bet if a Jewish person were to chime in here, they'd phonetically 
tell us exactly how to say it.  Please do!
But it has sort of a scratchy CKH sound in the beginning.
Oh, no matter.
It just bugs me to pieces when people pronounce things wrong.
Like, gyro, for example.
Never mind.


Long story short, I've been doing a lot of experimentation with Challah knots lately.
And today I made these beauties!

 Challah Bread is made with a lot of egg yolks, 
which makes this dough an especially beautiful and golden dough.
Maybe you can't see it so much here, because my photography is dreadfully pitiful,
but trust me.  Of all the MANY doughs I make, this one makes me
especially happy.  Because after it rises, it is the most beautifully golden and smooth of all doughs!

These pictures don't go into great detail, but above shows after the dough has risen for 45+ minutes.
And below shows it being divided into 16 pieces.

It was my intent to mix all the extra goodies in after the first rise.
But, as always, I forgot.
So I did it individually.  Which was really just fine because I did half of them with cheddar & jalapenos.

Plus, doing them individually ensures that each roll gets just the right amount of deliciousness!

I pressed each piece out just a bit and added some jarred roasted red peppers and feta cheese.
(Listen up!  If you use jarred red peppers, they need to be diced and blotted thoroughly
with a paper towel, so that most of the moisture is out.)
Also add a generous amount of Feta cheese.

Then sort of roll it over and pinch the ends.
It's very forgiving and it doesn't have to be perfect!
Then I just rolled it into a rope.
(Please note, the following pictures are of Cheddar Jalapeno rolls, just in case it looks different to you!)

Then you twist it into a pretzel-knot-kind-of-thing.
Just do it how you want.  It's hard to explain how I do it.  Make it unique.  It doesn't matter!

 Preheat oven to 350.
 Place them on a baking sheet (eight per sheet) on parchment paper.
Let rise for about 30 minutes.
Brush with egg wash and lightly top with Italian seasoning.

 Bake for around 14-16 minutes.

And I'm telling you this.
If you eat them straight out of the oven, just as soon as your little fingers can handle them,
you'll for forever changed and satisfied!

Here's the recipe in-full:
(Sorry it's not printable.  I'm a very lazy and non-technical blogger.)
(Copy and paste!)

4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar

Mix together and let set for about ten minutes

Add in  1/4 cup Olive Oil
4 egg yolks
Mix together dry ingredients:
 3 1/2 cups All-Purpose flour (high quality flour! King Arthur, preferably!)
1 1/4 tsp. salt
Add dry ingredients to wet.
Mix with dough hook for 6 minutes.

Let rise for 45+ minutes.
Divide into 16 parts.

Press each part and add ingredients (Feta cheese, peppers, cheddar cheese, etc.)
((Whatever your little heart desires!!))

Pinch edges together.
Roll into a rope.
Twist into a fancy twisty thing!

Put 8 pieces at a time on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Cover with plastic wrap & a towel.
Let rise for 30 minutes.
All the while, let oven heat up to 350!
Brush rolls with one mixed egg.
Sprinkle with Italian seasoning (or whatever suits your taste! Salt, garlic, whatever!)

Bake for about 14-16 minutes, until golden brown.
(Watch carefully....ovens vary!)

Enjoy fresh out of the oven, or seal for later.

They freeze and reheat wonderfully!

You'll love them, I promise!!!!!

**For those of you who live locally, these are certainly on my menu of 
For Sale items!  Let me know if you are interested!
I also have:

Cheddar Jalapeno
Garlic Parmesan

And another thing I promise (to you, my loyal bloggy friends...I will be back, SOON!!!)

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