Our baker suggests a stone ware or clay pot for storing bread and putting it with the cut, open side to the ground of the pot so that this side is protected and not in direct contact with the air.
Using a bread bin or putting the bread in a linen bag into a bread bin also works very well.
Usually we keep our bread fresh using these methods for a week, ...
The shape won't dramatically affect the flavor. I worked at a bakery many years ago where we made Challah braids for the weekend but for our day-to-day sandwich needs we made Pullman loaves for slicing with this interesting technique:
Divide a loaf's weight of dough into 8 pieces
Shape them into balls as though you were making rolls
Tuck the balls into a ...
I can't see anything that wrong, it looks like you are getting a decent crumb and crust so you probably aren't that far off. Here's a few thoughts:
The middle looks denser than the outside, I suspect you under-proofed it before baking, which is easy to do when you work to a time rather than a result. In home baking you can't control for all conditions so ...
Based on the description of your recipe, I would guess that your yeast is not fully activated and/or did not get enough time with the autolyzed dough.
Some possible direct causes:
Dry yeast is getting old
Dry yeast has not been fully activated before being mixed (give it 10-15 min in a small 100% hydration bowl, made from portion of flour/water in your ...
I have made challah by rolling bits of dough into small balls and piling them up to form a loaf shape. This leads to a loaf with a similar level of irregularity as braided challah, but is easier to construct (e.g., when baking with small children). So far as I can tell, it tastes exactly the same as braided challah.
It's not important for the flavor, but it is important for the shape, and for making sure that the challah is done all the way through. First, if you just put a round mass of challah dough on a baking sheet it's going to tend to spread out rather than rising up, and you'll end up with a very flat, wide loaf (which might be OK, but might not). Second, as an ...
The most common form of Ashkenazi (Central and Eastern European) challah is braided. However, other shapes are not unknown.
For the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, Ashkenazi Jews eat a round challah. These are sometimes still braided, but often they are not. To make a round (unbraided) challah, we follow the same exact recipe, but after bulk fermentation, ...
A challah recipe does not require braiding for its flavour or to bake properly – but it does usually require braiding in order to be called challah. Feel free to leave it out, but (if your audience are familiar with challah) you might get questions about why it isn't braided. You could also just call it 'enriched bread' which is a more general term.
Looking at your method and recipe, a number of factors could be at play here. I have baked many loaves without the butter and cream in an open top bread tin, and have never experienced shrinkage, quite the opposite in fact.
First of all, the dairy components will lead to a much softer "Milk bread" consistency in comparison to a "Traditional&...
Maybe not a complete answer, but a hack ?
You could do the same technique that Panettone bakers have.
When the Panettone is removed from the oven, they turn it upside down to let them cool and let them keep their shape.
For example (Chef John's Panettone video)