Coffee N° 5

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Challah Bread

What the heck is Challah Bread? Challah is a tradition Jewish bread that is eaten on the Sabbath and holidays. I would like to point out that Challah is pronounced “hallah.” This recipe comes from Baking Bites and the specific recipe I used can be found here. I use a 3 rope braid for all of my Challah (for now). You can use however many strands you want for your braid. You can even make it look like a continual braided circle. You don’t even have to braid it. That’s the beautiful thing about dough, you can make it work for you. Here’s a page on different types of braids.  On to the how-to. Let’s talk ingredients.

1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm (110F) water
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 eggs
3 3/4 cups flour (and up to 1/4 cup extra for kneading)

1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tsp water
2 tsp cinnamon (optional)Now that we have that out of the way, onto the making of the bread.
Dissolve sugar and yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a large mixing bowl. Let stand 10 minutes.
Add oil, water sugar, salt , eggs and 2 cups of flour to the yeast mixture.
Mix until smooth, then gradually add remaining flour until dough comes together into a ball and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle reserved flour onto a smooth surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, incorporating any of the reserved flour as needed.
Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 1-1 1/2 hours.
Oil a baking sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired. (I strongly recommend this. Not only does the bread have a slight cinnamon taste, your house will smell delicious!)

When doubled, flour your hands and gently remove dough from bowl onto a lightly floured counter top.

Cut dough into three even sections and gently stretch them out.
Starting in the middle, braid them together.
Tuck the ends underneath the dough.
Set loaf on baking sheet.
Brush very lightly with egg wash, you won’t need all of it.
Preheat oven to 400F and let dough rise, covered loosely, for an additional hour, until almost doubled.
Bake at 400F for 30 minutes, until deep golden brown.I like to transfer it to the wire cooling rack. It tastes best fresh from the over with some butter and jam or butter an honey. I’m working on a cinnamon sugar version (because I’m a sucker for cinnamon sugar) and will post the recipe here if I ever get it made. There is a lot of rest time in this recipe, but it is worth it. Some things I’ve learned are that you shouldn’t make the braids too tight. If you do, it no longer pulls apart quite as nicely or easily. Also, start the braid from the middle, work up one side, and then down the other. That should help make it look nice and even. The biggest tip I can give you is to try to make sure your yeast is fresh. Plus if your water is too hot, it will kill the yeast. Too cold and the yeast won’t activate. I know it’s a pain to get the water just right, but if you can, it is so worth it. (I will be going back and adding pictures as I get them uploaded, so look for updates to this post to occur).Note: Once again, I would like to thank Baking Bites for this delicious Challah recipe

– Brent

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2 thoughts on “Challah Bread

  1. Joe Labriola on said:

    Love Challah! Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

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