Yes, weather will affect your challah dough. On warmer days, it might seem like your regular recipe just isn’t working. Here’s how to troubleshoot.
By Naomi Elenberg
When it comes to challah, intuitive baking is the key to achieving the perfect result.
I often say that when making challah, by machine or by hand, the quantity of flour which is needed is simply a guideline. Flour is a hygroscopic, which means it absorbs moisture out of the air.
On a humid day, flour absorbs more moisture (vs. a cooler drier day) which can make your dough stickier than usual. The opposite occurs in the winter.
Nonetheless, I always start with ½ – ¾ of the amount of flour needed in the recipe, mix, and go from there. I also always keep extra flour on hand.
Sometimes, regardless of the weather, our dough just doesn’t cooperate. No big deal! Too sticky? Add more flour or water/oil if too dry. Also allowing your dough to rest part of the way through the kneading process is helpful as well; this allows the gluten in the dough to relax. Being flexible and adjusting to to get the right consistency helps make a good loaf, in any weather.
After moving to Michigan with her family back in 2011, Naomi unpacked her stand mixer, started baking, and hasn’t stopped since. She specializes in gourmet challahs, babkas, and seasonal goodies for all dietary needs including vegan, gluten-free, and various allergies. She can be contacted via instagram @naomi_tgis.