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Challah Bread

 

Challah Bread is beautiful braided loaf from the Jewish tradition that’s rich in taste from the sugar, egg and oil that is added to the dough and the sweet glaze topping. Challah Bread can be made with a simple three strand braid or many more strands.  Here, I demonstrate a four strand braid that rises and bakes into a nice high loaf. This dough is a little sticky, but it can be managed well if you add some flour to your work surface and coat the strands a bit. Watch my demonstration video here.

 

 

Challah Bread

A four strand braided bread with a rich dough and sweet glaze topping
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Proofing Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time3 hrs 35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Jewish
Servings: 10 servings
Cost: $3

Equipment

  • cookie sheet

Ingredients

  • 9 oz water 1 cup + 2 tbs
  • .1 oz yeast 1 tsp
  • 2 oz sugar ¼ cup
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1.9 oz vegetable oil ¼ cup
  • .4 oz salt 1 ¼ tsp
  • 15.2 oz all purpose or bread flour 3 cups

Glaze Ingredients

  • .6 oz milk 1 tbs
  • .4 oz oil 1 tbs
  • .5 oz beaten egg 1 tbs
  • .2 oz sugar 1 tsp

Instructions

  • Pour warm water in a bowl. Add the yeast, sugar, egg, oil, and salt (leave the egg out for a vegan version.) Blend well together.
  • Add the flour — either bread flour or all purpose flour. Stir well until consistently moist.
  • When all the flour is moistened, gather the dough together and knead it with the dome for about a minute. If you use he dome, the motion is like smearing the dough on the bottom of the bowl. This stretches the gluten to build structure in the dough so your bread will rise well.
  • Scrape the dough to the center of the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
  • Proof until doubled in size, this will take about an hour and 10 minutes at 70° F -- longer at colder temperatures.
  • When it’s doubled, scrape the dough onto a floured surface. It’s sticky, so use a little more flour on your hands and work surface if you need to.
  • Cut the dough into four pieces and roll them into ropes about 14 inches long. Use a light touch, the ropes don’t have to be perfectly identical.
  • To braid the dough, press the ends of the ropes together at the top end and fold them under.
    4 dough strands numbered 1 - 4
  • To do a four-way braid, number each position of the ropes (not each rope of dough) 1, 2, 3, 4 from left to right. Then place the 4 rope over the 2 rope. Next, the 1 rope over the 3 rope. Next, the 2 rope over the 3 rope. Then repeat, 4 over 2, 1 over 3, 2 over 3, and again, 4 over 2, 1 over 3, 2 over 3 and so on.
    sequence for braiding bread
  • Place on an oiled baking pan or pan lined with parchment paper. Let it rise an hour or so.
  • Prepare the glaze during this final proofing. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Glaze it with a pastry brush and bake in a preheated oven at 375° for 35 minutes.

Watch my Video demonstration of this recipe.

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