Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Challah is one of my favorite egg breads. It's a really good, soft, sweet Jewish bread that is such a simple bread both in taste and in making it.


1 pkg. active dry yeast

½ cup warm water

½ cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons sugar

1 ¼ teaspoons salt

2 ½ cups bread flour


1 egg

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon sesame or poppy seeds

In the mixing bowl of a heavy duty mixer, combine the water and the yeast, and let stand about 5 minutes, or until the yeast is completely dissolved. Add the flour, eggs, egg yolks, oil, sugar and salt, and mix on low speed until thoroughly blended. Gradually stir in the bread flour. Knead for about 8 minutes with the dough hook on low to medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn it over once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 ½ hours. Punch down dough, knead briefly, and refrigerate covered, until it has again nearly doubled in volume (a three quarter rise is sufficient), 4 to 12 hours. The dough is now ready to be shaped.

Three-Strand Braided Challah:

Weigh and divide the dough equally into three pieces. On an unfloured work surface, roll into balls and let rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for 10 minutes. Grease a baking sheet and sprinkle it with cornmeal. Roll each ball into a 13 to 14 inch long rope, about 1 ½ inches thick and slightly tapered at the ends. Dust the 3 ropes with rye flour so they will be more distinctly separated. Place the 3 dough ropes side by side and pinch the top ends together. Braid. Tuck both ends of the braid underneath the loaf and set it on the baking sheet. Whisk together the remaining egg and salt and brush over the top of the loaf. Loosely cover the braid with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until not quite doubled, about 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375°. Brush the loaf again with the egg wash. If desired, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon poppy of sesame seeds. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.

Don't forget to visit Rocks In My Dryer for more great WFMW tips.


Mom2fur said...

I just love challah bread. Can anything be more delicious than French toast made with thick slices of challah? Mmmmmmmmm...