Challah With Kruszonka

Top Left, counter-clockwise:  Rising dough, weighing ingredients,
Brushing with egg, Strands to braid, Loaf ready for oven
Here’s a very pretty Spring holiday bread that is also surprisingly quick and simple to make.  Kruszonka is a kind of streusel or crumble that doesn’t use brown sugar; it uses powdered sugar and isn’t nearly so sweet.  It is often used on challah, a nice egg bread.  I used my favorite, very easy recipe for the dough from the old “Cuisinarts The Connoisseur's Choice "  newsletters, and used the crumble recipe I also use on some quick breads. 
Make the crumble first thing and let it sit in the refrigerator until needed.  That keeps it from melting into the dough too much.  It may seem dry, but if you use too much butter, it will not stay in nice crumbles on your loaf.  Just use your clean fingers to mix it completely.
 If you use instant or rapid rise yeast, the dough goes pretty quickly too.  When you add the liquids to the dry ingredients in the processor, let it dribble in through the small hole usually used for oil in salad dressings, it will run in at just the right speed to make a nice dough.

Challah With Kruszonka
                          Dough
  3 1/4     cups  Bread Flour -- 14 3/4 ounces
  1 1/2     teaspoons  Salt
  1            package  Instant Yeast
  3            tablespoons  Sugar
     2/3     cup  Water -- 115-120°
     1/3     cup  Salad Oil
  1            large  Egg
                        Glaze
  1            large  Egg
     1/8     teaspoon  Salt
                        Crumble
     1/2     Cup  Flour, All-purpose -- 65 grams
     1/4     Cup  Powdered Sugar -- 32 grams
  2 1/2     Tablespoons  Butter -- softened

Combine the crumble ingredients with a fork, squeeze together with your clean hands to make a soft dough.  Refrigerate until bread dough is in the pan and ready to go in the oven.
Fit food processor with metal blade.  Mix flour, salt, yeast and sugar until just combined, 2-3 pulses.   Pulse in the egg.
Combine hot water and oil; pour through small feed tube hole in a steady stream while processor is running.  Mix until dough forms a ball and cleans the sides of the bowl.
Continue processing for 60 seconds to knead. 
Let rest in covered processor bowl in a warm place for 10 minutes (1-1 1/2 hours for active dry yeast).  Punch dough down on a slightly floured surface.
If braiding, divide into 3 equal pieces (about 9 ounces) for each loaf.  Roll each piece into a cylinder, about 1 1/2" x 15" long.  Braid loosely and gently, tuck ends under.  Place on a greased or parchment lined 1/4 sheet pan or jelly roll pan.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-35 minutes (up to 45 minutes to 1 hour with active dry yeast).  Brush loaf with salt and egg mixture
Remove the crumble mixture from the refrigerator and crumble it evenly over the loaf in a mixture of 1/4" to 1/2" crumbles. (Save any remaining egg and crumble)
Bake in lower 1/3 of oven for 20 minutes. If necessary, brush with more egg down the center and sprinkle with any remaining crumble at this time.
Lower temperature to 350° and bake 10-15 minutes more or until bread reads 200° on an instant read thermometer.
Yield:  "1 Loaf"

Requires 12-14 cup size processor.


2015 Cost:  $1.34 per loaf

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