Traditional Challah Bread

Challah is a traditional Jewish bread for special occasions and considered a blessing in the Jewish culture. It is fluffy, aromatic, slightly sweet and reminds one of a good French Brioche. This recipe provides for two really large breads, but keep in mind that they keep exceptionally well and makes an excellent bread and butter pudding. Make one extra large bread when you need a centrepiece to whow a crowd!

15ml instant yeast

5ml sugar

1 egg

3 egg yolks

83ml honey

30ml vegetable oil

10ml salt

750g flour

Egg wash:

1 egg

15ml water

2,5ml salt

Pour 83ml lukewarm water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.

Add the yeast and sugar to the water and stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar.

Add another 310ml lukewarm water, the whole egg, egg yolks, honey, oil and salt. Give it another stir.

Now attach the mixing bowl to the stand mixer, add half a cup of flour and “stir” the mixture on the lowest speed. Keep adding flour and stirring it in until you have no flour left.

Knead the dough on low speed for 4 minutes.

Remove the challah dough from the mixing bowl and place it in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and allow it to rise for one hour or until doubled in volume.

Remove the dough from the bowl and gently knock it back by hand.

Place the dough back into the oiled bowl, cover and proof for another hour.

Now transfer the dough to a work surface and knead by hand for about two minutes.

Divide the dough into one or two portions, depending on how many breads you want to bake and shape your bread. Traditionally a challah bread is shaped into a plait.

Place the bread(s) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper/silicone baking mat and prepare the egg wash.

Mix all the egg wash ingredients together, whisk lightly and brush a thin, even layer over the bread.

Cover with a tea towel and allow it to proof for a final 40 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180℃.

Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 40 minutes, until beautifully golden.

Cool the challah on a cooling rack before slicing.

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