I have always wanted to make challah bread! It was moved to the top of my to-do list when I found out it was the Daring Bakers’ challenge for the month!
May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge was pretty twisted – Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to make challah! Using recipes from all over, and tips from “A Taste of Challah,” by Tamar Ansh, she encouraged us to bake beautifully braided breads.
While I picked the “Easy Challah” recipe that Ruth provided, I decided to do a 6 strand braid! Even though I can’t braid my own hair, I thought braiding the challah was a lot of fun- and it looks beautiful!
The recipe makes 2 loaves. One loaf was eaten right away (mmmm, butter!) and the other loaf I saved for another recipe!
I enjoyed this challenge and I’m looking forward to making challah bread again!! Oh, and I can cross it of my baking to-do list!
Recipe from templedavid.org
Makes 2 loaves
Prep time: 3 hours 10 minutes (40 minutes active, 2 1/2 hours inactive)
Bake time: 30-45 minutes
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water
1 package rapid rise yeast
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer (using your paddle attachment), combine the water and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add in 1 1/2 cups of the flour mixture and mix on medium speed until it is well combined. Turn off your mixer, cover with a dish towel, and let sit for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, add in the eggs and mix until combined. Change to the dough hook attachment and add in the remaining flour mixture. Let the mixer run on low-speed for 10 minutes to knead the dough (or you can do this by hand on a floured surface). After 10 minutes, transfer the dough to a well oiled bowl. Cover the top lightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, punch down the dough and knead for 3 minutes (using just enough flour in order to keep the dough from sticking). Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Working with one piece, divide into as many strands as you like, and braid your dough. Place each braided loaf onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (I was able to use 1 cookie sheet for both loaves). Brush each loaf with the egg wash, cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
After 45 minutes, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. After 1 hour, remove the plastic wrap from the loaves and brush each loaf again with the egg wash. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and bake till golden (about 25-30 minutes). Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then transfer the loaves to cooling racks and let cool completely. Enjoy!
Ruth provided us with video’s to assist us with the braiding technique. Here is the one for a 6 strand braid.
Made with love, not calories!!