Challah is a traditional Jewish celebration bread. This is an eggy bread mad e without the use of any diary products. It s still very tender and soft and stays fresh for 2 to 3 days. This is one of those breads that have beautiful oven spring making it very soft on the inside.
Prep Time 30minutes
Cook Time 40minutes
Total Time 4hours
500gAll Purpose or Bread Flour (4 to 4 1/2 C)
160gWater ( 3/4C )
50gSugar ( 1/4 C )
10gFine Sea Salt (1 1/4Tsp)
7gActive Dry Yeast(1 pkt or about 2 tsp)
Poppy Seed / Sesame Seed Optional
Warm 1/4 C water to 110°F or just warm to touch . Dissolve 1 Tbsp Sugar in the water and sprinkle the yeast on top . Set aside to bloom.
Mix The dough
Place the flour, remaining sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the mix, add the eggs to it. Add the activated yeast, oil and half the remaining water to it as well. Gently mix until all the flour is moistened, adding enough of the remaining water to bring the dough together. Cover and set aside for 10 to 20 minutes.
Uncover and knead gently for 10 minutes until a soft and pliable dough is formed. This dough should be a little wet than normal.
Form the dough into a ball. Grease a bowl large enough to hold the risen dough ( about 3 times in volume) and place the dough ball in it . Turn to coat all sides of the dough with oil evenly. Cover and place in the fridge for an overnight rise (preferable) or set aside in a warm place to double in volume (about 1 1/2 hours).
Uncover and punch down the dough . Knead a few times in the bowl, form into a ball and let rise again till almost doubled - 30 mins to 1 hr at room temperature or few hours in the fridge.
Shape and Final Rise
Punch down and divide the dough into 2 equal halves. Take one half and divide into 3 equal portions.
Roll each portion into ropes of about 12 to 14 inches in length. Braid the ropes together . Transfer to a baking sheet . Repeat with the other half.
Cover and let rise for 20 to 30 minutes until almost doubled .
Preheat the oven to 350°F (170°C).
Break the egg for the egg wash and beat well with 1 tsp water. Brush the top of the braids with egg wash. Sprinkle the seeds on top, if using. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the tops with the remaining egg wash again. Return to the oven and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes till done. At any time if the tops of the loaves start to brown too much cover with aluminium foil.
When cooked through the bottom of the loaves should sound hollow when patted.
The bread is done when the internal temperature reaches 190°F.
Cool before slicing.
US cup measurements used : 1C = 240 ml.
Use unbleached unbromated flour.
For detailed instructions go to https://oventales.com/challah/ .