Challah bread is a Jewish bread usually made into a ring. My interest in making this bread is that it forms the basis of the Crème Brulee French Toast Sasha asked me to make for breakfast on her 18th birthday. For that breakfast marvel, you need to make this bread at least 24 hours in advance because you don’t really want fresh bread for French Toast.
- 1 cup warm water (229 g)
- 2 tsp active dry yeast (7.5 g)
- 4.5 cups flour (670 g)
- 1/4 cup sugar (60 g)
- 2 tsp salt (12 g)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg – separated (the whites for wash)
- 2 oz neutral-flavored vegetable oil (44 g)
- Mise en Place – gather you ingredients.
- Activate the yeast in the warm water with a pinch of sugar.
- Mix dry ingredients together in the mixer at speed #1.
- Add the 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk and the oil in the mixer making a semi-dry dough, then add the yeast/water.
- Mix 5-8 minutes at #4 speed to knead.
- Proof 1.5 – 2 hours. Scrape into bowl and cover with film.
- Divide into 3 or 6 pieces and roll into 16″ ropes. You do this on a floured surface by rolling the dough with your hands. Start in the center and work to the edges as you roll.
- Braid. If doing three ropes, it’s just like braiding hair. If doing 6 ropes: carry right-most rope over two ropes and under one, then over the last rope. Repeat.
- Proof braided loaf 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. when 1/2 hour is left in proofing.
- Brush loaf with the egg white mixed with 1 TBL water. This will give the crust and dark brown, slightly crunch finish.
- Bake for 35 minutes