Want to learn to bake like AMC’s famed hut Croo?
Croo members are the seasonal staff working in the backcountry at AMC’s High Mountain Huts in the White Mountains. For each breakfast and dinner, Croos cook family-style meals for up to 90 people a night.
A staple of hut cuisine, beloved by generations of hungry hikers, is the bread. From sourdough to soda bread, and everything in between, Croos loves to get creative in pursuit of baking perfection. While serving as Hutmaster at Mizpah Springs Hut, Al Bolton would bake guests challah. A sweet, eggy bread with a long history in Jewish culture, challah is easily identified by its braided pattern. Don’t miss an opportunity to try it when the bread basket gets passed around at your next hut stay.
Here’s the recipe Al used to take this delicacy into the backcountry.
Want to experience Croo hospitality for yourself? Plan a trip today!
Recipe from King Arthur Flour
|Ingredients||2 Loaves||4 loaves||7 loaves||14 loaves|
|Flour||685 g||1370 g||2400 g||4800 g|
|Sugar||55 g||109.6 g||192 g||384 g|
|Salt||13 g||26 g||46 g||92 g|
|Eggs||148 g||294.5 g||516 g||1032 g|
|Vegetable Oil||52 g||102.75 g||180 g||360 g|
|Water||220 g||438.5 g||768 g||1536 g|
|Yeast||28 g||55 g||96 g||192 g|
Mix all ingredients listed above. (Add yeast and salt to water and let bloom before adding the rest of the ingredients). Add flour last.
Knead until gluten is developed. Because you will be braiding this you will want a firmer dough that will be easier to work with. Add more water if necessary; hold some out if you are concerned about it being too wet.
Let rise until doubled. Fold the dough four times. Let rise until doubled again.
Divide into 600-gram balls, then divide each ball into three smaller balls to make strands. Let rest until gluten is relaxed.
Shape strands, then braid. If you want it shiny, brush with an egg wash (1 part egg, 1 part water or milk). Coat with poppy and/or sesame seeds if you are feeling adventurous.
Let the loaves proof. Bake at 400 for 40-50 minutes or so. (But check on them after 20-30 minutes)