I am just so excited about this delicious fluffy challah bread that i can’t help myself.
This post has more pictures than i have ever been able to squeeze into a single post before. Partly because there are a lot of steps involved and partly because this is the first time i have ever made bread that was edible. And not just edible but scrumdillyumptious. Is that a word? Am i so excited to be back to blogging after a 2-week hiatus and successfully baking up semi-difficult bread that i’m making up words?
Anywho just a warning that this dough can get real sticky and real messy super fast. And don’t you dare try using wax paper like i did. It’s paper. Made of wax. So naturally i thought the dough wouldn’t stick and boy was i wrong. I am still mourning the large doughy waxy mess that ended up in my trash can. This is why the silpat is hands down my all time favorite baking tool.
Anyone else think the picture on the left looks like bones?
So after letting your dough rise for about 2 hours comes the fun part. You can either do the traditional 3-strand braid or be a bit fancy and go for the 4-strand like i did. Just break off 4 equal chunks of dough and get to work rolling each chunk into a log. If your dough constantly keeps shrinking back and not holding shape, let it rest for a few minutes and then it’ll be much easier to work with.
I also was completely clueless as to how to braid the 4 strands so i took to YouTube and found an instructional video which can be found here.
Enjoy the music. 😉
Once braided you should let it rise again for 30-60 minutes until puffy. Then coat the entire challah with egg wash before placing in the oven. The egg wash will give it the nice golden brown color and sheen that is typical of this type of bread.
Then you just bake it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees and the end result will be this beauty:
This is easily one of my favorite breads. I just shy away from it in grocery stores due to the high price and longer-than-i-would-like ingredient list. This ingredient list is seven. Seven ingredients. Which is what bread should be.
I know that there are two long rising times as a part of this recipe, but if you stick it out i promise it’ll be worth it.
I think i should probably go make some challah french toast now…
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1-1/3 cups warm water
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup oil
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp water
- Empty packet of yeast into warm water and mix. Let sit until soapy top layer forms. This layer means the yeast has been activated and is ready to use.
- Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the eggs and oil and stir to combine.
- Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined.
- Next you must knead the dough by hand or with a stand mixer. I don't own a stand mixer so I did this step by hand on a heavily floured surface. Your dough may be really sticky so add more flour 1 Tbsp at a time until it no longer sticks to your work surface and/or hands.
- Oil a large mixing bowl and let dough sit covered for 2 hours in a warm location. It should just about double in size.
- Next separate the dough into as many chunks as you want strands in your braid. I wanted 4 strands so i did 4 chunks. Roll each chunk into a log and press the tops together to combine.
- Braid the strands as desired (instructional video is included in this post) and cover the loaf and let rise for 30-60 minutes until puffy again.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Prepare the egg wash and brush over the entire challah making sure to get into all exposed areas.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.