Challah, A Bucket List Bread!

Challah is a bread that I have often thought about making, but thought that it was just to difficult.  That is why I love Bread, One Girl’s Journey, it gets me out of my comfort zone and learning new things about food, bread, and myself.  For instance, the difference between brioche and challah is basically one uses butter and one does not.  I have also realized that I love baking bread!  Go figure!  This recipe is great.  I found it on thekitchn.com.  Challah is delicious, but it is even better when used in a bread pudding or when making french toast.  Happy bread baking!

Ingredients:

2   teaspoons active dry yeast (I always throw a pinch more in for good measure)

1   cup lukewarm water

4 to 4 1/2   cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I use organic, non-GMO)

1/4   cup granulated sugar (I use organic cane sugar)

2   teaspoons kosher salt

2   large eggs

1   large egg yolk, use the egg white for the egg wash

1/4   cup vegetable oil

 

Preparing:

Sprinkle yeast over water in a small bowl and add a healthy pinch of sugar, let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, until foaming.

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Add eggs, yolk, and oil, stirring well.

Pour yeast over, and combine until a dough forms, if sticky add more flour. Knead for 6 – 8 minutes until a smooth dough forms.

Place dough in a large bowl, cover with a clean dish cloth and let rise until double in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

(Here is where I go a different route, I was never good at braiding or following directions so I just winged the braiding of the dough.  The good news, the bread came out looking lovely).

Separate the dough into 6 equal pieces.  Roll each piece to form a rope that is about 14″ in length. Lay the ropes side by side on your baking sheet.  Proceed to braid your dough one piece on top of the other, until a braided loaf is formed.  Tuck in the ends, sprinkle with a tiny bit of flour, cover with the dish cloth and let rise for about an hour.  I apologize for not being able to help you with this part! Just remember that it comes out beautifully when baked.

When ready to bake, brush with the egg white.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until deeply brown.

Note:  I used a baking sheet lined with a baking mat!

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