Challah Bread

Bruce came home with almost five dozen eggs.  I guess he went to a dinner party and for some reason they gave him a large number of eggs.  Whatever the reason, we decided to try to find uses for the eggs.

I’ve only had Challah bread a few times before, but I’ve always loved it.  When I found out how many eggs are used to make it, I just knew that I wanted Mike to try to make it.

First off, the ingredients that are utilized to make the Challah Bread (besides the yeast). Pretty basic stuff. I find that when you are making breads, the rule is typically “less is more”.

Challah in the Making 1

Here is the yeast starting to activate in warm water. This will help the bread to rise. I usually let it sit in the warm water to rest for 10 minutes. A pidge of sugar also helps give something for the bacteria to feast on.

Challah in the Making 2

The dough (minus the flour) in the mixing bowl, ready to go. This contains the water, salt, sugar, oil, yeast, and of course the eggs.

Challah in the Making 3

Now with the flour added to it and after a short amount of mixing and kneading.

Challah in the Making 4

Here is the kneaded dough before the rise.

Challah in the Making 5

The dough after the first rise, beat down, and second rise.

Challah in the Making 6

Here the dough is cut into 6 pieces, for rolling up and into little sausages.

Challah in the Making 7

Now 5 sausages have been made and just one more to roll out!

Challah in the Making 8

All 6 sausages are rolled out and are ready to be braided together!

Challah in the Making 9

The sausages have been attached together and are ready to braid. Its funny, but it reminds me a lot of the Jewish menorah (obviously it is missing a few arms…)

Challah in the Making 10

Halfway through the braiding, you can finally start to see the unique braided bread coming together.

Challah in the Making 11

The braided bread is now complete, now just to transfer (carefully!) to the baking sheet!

Challah in the Making 12

The Challah bread is now ready to go! I usually bake it on a cookie sheet with parchment paper for easier clean up. Just before sticking the bread into the oven, I coat it with a light layer of eggs.

 

Challah in the Making 13

Finally, after about 30 minutes of baking, the Challah bread is finished and ready to be enjoyed! As I mentioned earlier, this bread is good enough to stand alone, not requiring butter or any flavor additions, however, we decided to have Kim make her Spinach Artichoke Dip, and to serve it with that.

Challah in the Making 14

Challah Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
For the yeast
  • 1¾ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ¾ cups lukewarm water
For the bread
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 4¼ cups all purpose flour
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the yeast, sugar and warm water. Allow the yeast to activate. This takes about 10 minutes. The mixture will start to foam when it has activated.
  2. Add ¼ cup oil, 3 eggs, sugar and salt to the yeast mixture. Add the flour and mix with a dough hook until the dough is kneaded.
  3. Grease a large bowl with some olive oil. Place the dough in the greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for an hour, or until it has almost doubled in size. Punch the dough down, place the cover back over the bowl and allow it to rise in a warm place for another half an hour.
  4. Divide the dough into six even balls. On a silicone mat, roll the balls of dough into strands that are about 12 inches long. Place the six strands parallel to each other. Pinch the top of the strands together.
  5. Move the outside right strand over two strands. Then take the second strand from the left and move it to the far right. Take the outside left strand and move it over two strands. Move the second strand from the right over to the far left. Repeat the above instructions, starting with the outside right strand again. Once all of the strands have been braided, pinch the ends of the strands together.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the braided loaf on the parchment paper.
  7. Beat the remaining egg and brush the top of the loaf with the beaten egg. Bake the bread on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes, or until it is golden brown. Allow the bread to cool slightly on a cooling rack.
  8. Serve warm.

Adapted from Smitten Kitten

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