The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Weekly challah

treeowl's picture

Weekly challah

670g King Arthur bread flour

7g instant yeast (I prefer Dr Oetker brand, but it has no hechsher)

2tsp table salt or fine sea salt

5 eggs, one of them divided

1/4 cup mild honey

1/4 cup canola oil or similar

3/4 cup cold water

Sesame and/or poppy seeds, untoasted (optional)


Combine flour with yeast.

Lightly beat the four eggs and the yolk. Add other liquid ingredients and stir until honey is dissolved.

Add liquid ingredients to flour mixture and stir well with a spoon to combine. Let rest a few minutes, then knead in salt and continue to knead for a while longer.

Lightly oil bowl and dough, cover well, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, perform a stretch-and-fold.

When near ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator and leave out for around an hour and a half.

Divide dough into six pieces. Flatten each and shape into a cylinder. Let rest a bit, then roll into strands, letting each rest as needed.

Braid into two loaves, cover loosely but well with oil-sprayed plastic wrap, and let rise until puffy. Toward the end, preheat oven to 350F.

Lightly beat remaining egg white with a pinch of salt. Brush over the loaves. If desired, sprinkle with sesame and/or poppy seeds. Note that the seed density will decrease in baking due to oven spring, so use a heavy hand here.

Bake around 24 minutes, until the interior reaches a temperature of 165F.