First I am going to start off talking about the elephant in the room……this recipe is from an American who was trained in Texas at a French Culinary School that lives in Tuscany…confused? Yep me too! But the challah recipe rocks, so try it!
One of my favorite things to bake lately is Challah, a special bread for Jewish Sabbath and holidays. This bread is so satisfying to make. It is a rich dough made with loads of egg yolks, that is lightly sweet yet savory. I am not going to go into the long history of Challah and all the Jewish traditions associated with it, but I will tell you this, the three strand braided loaf symbolizes truth, peace and justice…… and I just love that. We need more of it in the world! Share the Challah y’all.
Challah Bread Recipe
Makes two 3 strand braided loaves
|Water||8 oz||240 g|
|Fresh Yeast|Cake Yeast OR|
Active Dry Yeast
2 1/2 tsp
|Organic Unbleached Strong Flour||20 oz||600 g|
|Egg Yolks (Approximately 6)||4 oz||120 g|
|Organic Unbleached Sugar||1.5 oz||45 g|
|Malt Syrup OR Honey||1/2 tsp||3 g|
|Salt||2 tsp||10 g|
|Olive Oil||2 oz||60 g|
Directions: Straight dough mixing method
Straight dough is a single-mix process of making bread. The dough is made from all fresh ingredients, and they are all placed together and combined in one kneading or mixing session. After mixing, a bulk fermentation rest of about 1 hour or longer occurs before division. It is also called the direct dough method.From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
First, dissolve water, yeast and malt syrup in a small bowl, then add oil and yolks and combine well. In a larger bowl or mixer, combine flour, salt, and sugar; then add the wet ingredients. Combine on LOW then mix on MED with dough hook for 10 minutes. The dough will be soft and sticky. This is ok!
Next, scrape out the dough in a bowl rubbed with oil, cover and ferment until it doubles in size.
After the dough has doubled in size, on a lightly floured table punch down, and divide in pieces of 6 oz (170 g) each, keeping the pieces covered to prevent a skin from forming.
Shape & Braid
Now to the fun part of rolling the dough! Shape the pieces into strings by repeatedly flattening the dough and pounding with the heel of your hand to remove any air bubbles or pockets. Do not over work the dough. When it starts pulling back let it rest, and keep them in order. Gently roll each string into about 12 inch (30 cm) long. Making sure not to tear the dough, roll slowly, not adding much flour. Lay the strings in front of you, start in the middle; braiding 1 over 2. Then 3 over 2. Repeat the braiding sequence. Taking care not to braid too tightly and try not to stretch the strings more than necessary. At the end pinch strings together and tuck underneath.
Place braided loaves on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush loaves with egg wash and let rise until doubled in volume.
For extra shine, brush the braids with egg wash again prior to baking. Sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds if desired.
Temperature: 400 F / 205 C for about 25 to 30 minutes
Happy Baking y’all!