One of my favorite types of bread is Challah. It’s pretty, has an interesting texture and tastes really good. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find good Challah around here, so I have to bake it myself.
The last batch I made was a disaster due to an error in how much flour was needed. After the disaster, I took a break from Challah-making and focused on other things. I re-visited Challah yesterday and do believe I’ve found a great recipe.
The recipe I used was from Recipezaar. It was very, very easy to put together with my stand mixer, but you could probably make a good batch without one.
Before you make this recipe, take a look at the version on Recipezaar and read what others have to say. A few people had issues with the amount of flour. I used bread flour and 4 cups was fine. The dough seemed a bit dry at first, but it rose perfectly. My other issue with that recipe is it says preheat the oven to 400 degrees in the first step. You don’t bake the Challah for another 2 ½ to 3 hours after assembling, so you shouldn’t even turn on the oven until bake time (recipe pet peeve).
Challah (Braided Egg Bread)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water
3 teaspoons yeast
4 cups bread flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup warm water
1 egg yolk — beaten with
1 teaspoon water
sesame seeds or poppy seeds
Dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar in 1/2 cup water in bowl of mixer. Sprinkle yeast over water and mix, let stand 10 minutes until foamy.
Add the next 6 ingredients to mixing bowl and mix with dough hook for 6 minutes.
Dough should be a little sticky. Place in oiled bowl, cover and let rise in warm place until double in bulk (1 hour). Punch down dough. Let rise until double in bulk again (1 hour)
Punch down again. Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Roll dough into three long strands and lay strands out on a cookie sheet. Braid them, tucking ends under. Cover with a towel and let rise for another 40 minutes or until doubled,
Brush with beaten egg yolk, sprinkle with seeds if desired, then bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Bake at 400 F for approximately 30 minutes, until golden brown. In my oven, this produced a very brown (though still good!) loaf. Next time I will shield with foil after 20 minutes.
The challah is done when it sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom.