Hello to my very first loaf of Challah Bread! As much as I love baking, I don't do a whole lot of bread loaves. During the extra time at home this was an excellent project I enjoyed working on over the course of the day. Braided Challah loaves are absolutely beautiful to look at, and the resulting chewy, tender loaf is just perfection. You cannot beat the smell of fresh bread baking in the kitchen!
I made the mistake of making my loaves a little too long - they came out more french bread-esque in shape, and I had to be careful with the baking time, and they still got a little too overdone on the bottoms. I will try again with a shorter, thicker loaf to see if I can get that beautiful tall challah loaf next time!
Challah Bread from Tori Avery
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, divided
1 packet (2.25 tsp) active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 large egg
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup honey
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 - 6 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg (or 1/4 cup egg whites)
1 tbsp cold water
1/2 tsp salt
- Combine 1/4 cup of the lukewarm water with the yeast and sugar in a medium to large bowl. Stir a few times and set aside to allow yeast to proof for about 10 minutes.
- When yeast is bubbly and frothy, whisk in the egg, egg yolks, honey, oil, and salt. When combined, begin to stir in the flour. When the dough becomes stiff, continue adding with a spatula or by hand, just until dough comes together and is no longer wet. It should be slightly tacky and pliable as you need by hand until it becomes smooth and comes together.
- When you have a smooth dough, remove dough ball from bowl and add a little oil. Coat dough ball on both sides in the oil and cover with a tea towel, and set in a warm place to rise.
- Once doubled in size (an hour or two as needed), divide dough in half. Divide each half into 3 pieces and roll out into about a 14-16" long rope. Pinch ends together and braid the bread. Set each of the two finished loaves onto their own cookie sheet, cover with towels and let rise another 30-45 minutes. When you press on the dough, the indentation should last and not immediately spring back before you move on to baking.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the egg wash ingredients by whisking together in a small bowl. Coat each loaf with egg wash then bake for 20 minutes. Remove loaves, re-brush with egg wash, and return to the oven for another 10-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
- Loaves should reach about 190 degrees internally to be done.