Challah

This traditional Jewish bread was a recipe taught to me by my cousins that I love to make. With the beautiful braided look and delicious taste, it is a great holiday recipe.


Yields 2 large braided breads


Ingredients

  • 2 packages (2 tablespoons) of active dry yeast

  • 1/2 of cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon of salt

  • 5 1/2 to 6 cups of unbleached all purpose or bread flour

  • 1 3/4 cups of hot water (120 degrees)

  • 4 eggs, beaten

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, melted

  • Egg wash

  • Poppy or sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Place yeast, sugar, salt and 2 cups of flour in a large bowl.

  2. Add water, eggs, and butter. Beat hard with a whisk until smooth, about 3 minutes while craping sides of bowl occasionally.

  3. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time with a wooden spoon. Continue beating until dough is too stiff to stir.

  4. Place dough onto lightly floured board.

  5. Adding flour 1 tablespoon at a time, knead until dough is smooth and elastic.

  6. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.

  7. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 to 1.5 hours.

  8. Gently deflate dough, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 6 equal portions.

  9. Roll each section into a strip and lay 3 strips aide by side. Braid each 3 strips from middle to taper ends. Pinch ends and tuck them under.

  10. Place on a greased or parchment-line baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise until almost doubled, about 30 to 40 minutes.

  11. Brush dough with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds.

  12. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a deep golden brown.

  13. Carefully lift braids off baking sheet with a spatula to cool completely before slicing.

  14. Enjoy!




SOURCE: "BREAD" by Beth Hensperger

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