Challah is such a beautiful bread! The way the it gets that dark golden crust makes mouth start to salivate. You know that when you put it in your mouth that it will be sweet and wonderful. For those of you that may not know what Challah is, it is a traditional Jewish bread. It is typically braided in the shape of a loaf or into a ring. Either way it is done, it is gorgeous! I found this recipe on AllRecipes.com but I followed some of the tips from the people that commented. So, here is the recipe that I used adapted from AllRecipes.com.
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Ready in: 3 Hours 40 Minutes
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C)
2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1/2 cup & 2 Tablespoons honey (divided)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
4 eggs (divided)
2 teaspoons salt
4 - 5 1/2 cups unbleached AP flour (depending on humidity)
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional)
- In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over barely warm water. Beat in 1/2 cup honey, oil, 1 egg, 3 egg yolks (save the whites for later), and salt. Add the flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition, graduating to kneading with hands as dough thickens. Knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. Cover with a damp clean cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled in bulk.
- Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto floured board. Knead for five minutes or so, adding flour as needed to keep from getting sticky. Divide thirds and roll into long snake about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Pinch the ends of the three snakes together firmly and braid from middle. Either leave as braid or form into a round braided loaf by bringing ends together, curving braid into a circle, pinch ends together. Grease baking tray and place finished braid or round on each. Cover with towel and let rise about one hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Beat the remaining egg whites with 2 Tablespoons honey and brush a generous amount over each braid. Sprinkle with poppy seeds if desired.
- Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 40 minutes. Cover the loaf with foil the last 10 minutes to prevent to much darkening of the crust. Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Cool on a rack for at least one hour before slicing.
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