This homemade challah bread, traditionally eaten for Shabbat, is New York’s answer to the French brioche.–Marc Grossman
LC Rich And Sightly Sweet Perfection Note
“This was my first try at making challah, and the finished loaf looked beautiful and tasted rich and moist.” “It was truly delicious, and I am thrilled to have made my first, but not my last, challah!” “The finished loaf looked beautiful.” “The bread was delicious warm with butter and had the texture of a soft pretzel.” That’s what folks are saying about this challah bread recipe. This particular challah bread recipe turns out a loaf that’s rich, dense, and slightly sweet—hallmarks of a classic challah, yes, and yet these traits are even more pronounced than usual in this recipe. What results is actually rather reminiscent of brioche, come to think of it. Tell you what. Try it and tell us your best way to describe it so we can compare notes. Just let us know in a comment below. And no worries if a lighter, more delicate challah is what you crave. If that’s what you’re seeking, try this challah recipe.
Challah Bread Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 4 H
- Makes 1 ginormous loaf
- 20 1/2 ounces (575 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 ounces (55 grams) superfine sugar (or just blitz granulated sugar in a blender until finely ground but not powdery)
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 4 3/4 ounces lukewarm water (just shy of 2/3 cup), plus more as needed
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the bowl
- 1 tablespoon egg white
- 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
- 1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. In a smaller bowl, beat together the water, eggs, egg yolks, and oil. Carefully combine the mixtures in a bowl or in your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Knead the dough, either on a lightly floured work surface with your hands or with the dough hook. Initially you will have a shaggy mess with a lot of dry flour but this will eventually give way to a dough that is very elastic (this ought to take 10 to 20 minutes). It may be necessary to add a touch more water if not all the flour can easily be incorporated—start by adding a tablespoon water, work the dough a little, and then if necessary add another tablespoon.
- 2. When the dough is smooth and elastic, form it into a smooth ball, place it in a large bowl slicked with oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise at room temperature until it has doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.
- 3. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Using the palms of your hands, shape each portion into evenly shaped sausages about 12 inches (30 centimeters) long. On a rimmed baking sheet that’s lightly floured or lined with parchment paper, braid the dough. (For spectacularly helpful instructions on how to braid challah dough, check out this advice from the folks at King Arthur Flour on how to braid 6 strands of dough—without needing 6 hands.) Sprinkle the braid lightly with flour, then cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let it rest at room temperature until it has doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- 4. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- 5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and sugar and lightly brush it over the braid. Bake the challah bread for 25 to 35, minutes until the bread has risen considerably and is golden brown. Let cool slightly before slicing.
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Challah Bread Recipe © 2014 Marc Grossman. Photo © 2014 Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle. All rights reserved.
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