The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Best of all possible Challah

Best of all possible Challah

EvanTheEngineer's picture
EvanTheEngineer

Description

The title says it all, this version of this recipe I've developed is simply the best.

Summary

Yield
Servings
Prep time3 hours
Cooking time30 minutes
Total time3 hours, 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 1⁄4 c
milk (warm)
1 1⁄2 T
Yeast (or two 1/4 oz. packets)
1 1⁄2 t
Sugar (for proving yeast)
1⁄4 c
Sugar
1⁄4 c
vegetable oil
1
Egg
2
Egg Yolks
4 1⁄2 c
Bread Flour
1
Egg (for wash)

Instructions

Combine warm milk, yeast, and 1 ½ tsp. sugar in a large bowl to activate yeast.

Once activated, add remaining ¼ cup of sugar, oil, eggs and yolks at once and mix to combine.

Add salt and ~3 cups of flour to mixture [in a stand mixer this amount can be added at once, by hand incorporating flour slowly may be more practical]; mix until too thick to stir and then turn out dough to knead. Incorporate as much of remaining amount of flour as necessary and knead for ~10 minutes, until dough is soft, smooth and slightly tacky, but not sticky.

Form dough into a ball and cover to rise until doubled

Deflate dough and form. Braids are traditional; recipe will make 2 braids, one round braided loaf, or 2 standard 9”x5” loaves.

Place loaves onto a baking sheet (braids) or in greased loaf pans, rise again until doubled; preheat oven to 350o F toward the end of this rise time.

 Brush tops of loaves with egg wash*, then sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds if desired. Bake for 30 minutes at 350o F, bread should be deep golden brown. For a softer, lighter crust bake for 15 minutes, tent loaves with foil, then bake for an additional 20 minutes (35 minutes total).

 If using loaf pans remove bread from pans immediately to a wire rack; allow braided loaves to cool on sheet. Cool completely before cutting.

Notes

*For a “brioche-style” wash, combine 1 tsp. honey and 1 tbsp. milk in a small bowl and microwave for a few seconds to soften honey; whisk. Add 1 egg, whisk to combine, and brush onto dough.

Any braiding pattern desired may be used. Recipe also works well for a cinnamon swirled loaf. 

As written this recipe is not pareve; it may be made so by replacing the milk with 1 cup of water.

Comments

ifs201's picture
ifs201

I like making challah with olive oil and OJ instead of butter and milk. Try it sometime!