Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I always wanted to make this bread and finally it was time.  The bread is super soft eventhough it was made with all purpose flour.  This bread also makes a real good french toast.  To bake it at home is to have your apartment swallowed whole by the an aroma so sweet, it alone could make a religious person out of you. I don’t know if it is the eggs or oils or extra sugar in there, but it puts all bread-baking aromas before it to shame.

Traditional challah recipes use a large number of eggs, fine white flour and sugar. Modern recipes may use fewer eggs (there are also "eggless" versions) and may replace white flour with whole wheat, oat or spelt flour. Sometimes honey or molasses is substituted as a sweetener. The dough is rolled into rope-shaped pieces which are braided and brushed with an egg wash before baking to add a golden sheen. Sometimes raisins are added.

Recipe from Saveur Magazine


2 tsp yeast / 1 pkt
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp milk, warmed
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cup all purpose flour ( you might not need to use all, depending on the humidity, I used about 3 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 yolk, for glaze
Sesame seed

  • Heat milk to 115 degrees in a small saucepan. Pour it into a large bowl and stir in yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let the mixture rest for about 10 minutes to give the yeast a chance to activate. The surface should be foamy after 10 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together melted and cooled butter and eggs. Stir into the milk mixture.
  • Stir in flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Set the ball of dough in a large bowl that is greased with cooking spray or butter and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Punch down the dough, recover with plastic wrap, and let rest until the dough is slightly puffy, about 30 minutes.
Braid it like so.. or you can even round it up after braiding it
  • Remove the dough from bowl and divide it into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a 16-inch rope. Lay the dough ropes side-by-side and pinch one end of the ropes together.
  • Braid the pieces of dough in the following manner: Cross the left piece of dough over the middle piece. Cross the right piece of dough over what is now the new middle piece. Try to do this as evenly as possible to avoid large gaps between the dough ropes. Continue this process until you reach the end. Pinch together the ends and tuck the both ends underneath the loaf.
  • Place the loaf on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let the dough rest (proof) for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water. Brush the mixture all over the surface of the loaf. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Bake until the bread is deep golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Let the bread cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving.

The bread is super fluffy and tender

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