I racked my brains for what to bake for a yeast geneticist friend’s birthday. Duh, bake yeasted (Saccharomyces cerevisiae-ed) bread? But it’s got to be even cooler than that. That’s when challah à tête a.k.a. budding yeast bread was born.
So this post isn’t so much describing a new recipe as it is of experimenting with a new way of shaping (for me). I used the ever-trusty recipe for honey vanilla challah with cardamom, originally developed by Ari at bakingandbooks.com but shaped it like you would for brioche à tête as demonstrated by Zoë François on the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day website.
Alright! First, some inspiration, courtesy of my friend the yeast geneticist:
Make the dough as usual, then after the bulk fermentation (first proof), divide the dough into 12 pizza slice-like pieces. Pinch off the point end of each piece. In yeasty terms, the bigger part of the pizza slice will be the mother, and the smaller piece, the budding daughter.
Shape both the mother slice and the daughter nub into little rounded balls. You’ll want to put the mother ball of dough into a brioche mold or a muffin cup – I happened to use silicone muffin cups here.
Give your mother ball of dough a little poke:
Then place the daughter ball of dough into the little indentation that you’ve made into the mother.
You’ll want to do the same for the rest of the little challah à tête.
Here’s a closeup of one for fun:
Let rise like you would for any other challah, brush with lightly beaten egg yolk and send them to visit The Oven.
So my shaping needs work because some of the little daughters fell off the mothers (see the photo at the very beginning of the post) but I have to say, these are pretty darn cute.
So what did my friend say?
That I knew from the start
As the sun rises
Full of surprises
Baked in the warmth of her heart
To which I replied
What a pity
that my writing’s not as witty
But here is my *thanks!*
I’m as happy
as T. gondii
* * *
Yup, I’m a geek!