Challah Bread is not so hard to make and is perfect for sandwiches, french toast, and butter! Of course, it is delish totally on its own!
- 2 1/4 ounce envelopes active dry yeast
- 2 t plus 3/4 to 1 c sugar (depending on how sweet you like your challah)
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 4 3/4 t kosher salt
- 1/2 c melted butter or canola oil
- 7 c all purpose, unbleached flour
- 2 large egg yolks
- sesame or poppy seeds for sprinkling
- Whisk yeast and 1/4 c warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. How to tell if your water is just warm? I let my tap run hot and as long as I can comfortably put my hand under the faucet, I consider it warm. Let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Whisk eggs, salt, 1/2 c melted butter or oil, 3/4 c sugar and 2 c warm water in a medium bowl. Add egg mixture and 7 cups of flour to yeast mixture. Beat with dough hook until dough is smooth and elastic, and not very sticky and pulls away from sides of bowl, about 10 minutes. Or you may knead by hand for about the same amount of time.
- Grease a large bowl with a bit of oil and transfer dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 1/2-2 hours.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a large cylindrical roll. Divide into 6 portions. Shape each into a 17″ long rope.
- Grease 2 rimmed baking sheets or use a silpat pad or parchment paper. Place 3 ropes side by side on the prepared baking sheet. Working with one challah at a time, pinch three ropes together at one end. Braid, then pinch ends together and tuck under. Let sit in a warm place until 1 1/2 times larger, about 60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325. Beat egg yolks and 2 T water in a small bowl. Working with one loaf at a time, brush dough with egg wash and sprinkle with your choice of seeds. Bake first loaf 15 minutes, then increase oven temperature to 425 and continue baking until the loaf is browned and sounds hollow when tapped, 15-20 minutes more. Let cool on baking sheet.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325, then leave oven door open 5 seconds to cool down. Repeat baking with remaining dough.
- Challah can be made three days ahead, keep tightly wrapped at room temperature or freeze. Let cool before storing.
*Does not include rise time
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