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Homemade Challah Bread

Dec 05, 2012 07:51PM ● By Anonymous


1/3 cup honey
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
5 cups unbleached flour, plus more if needed
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg white
1 tablespoon white sugar


Dissolve the honey in the water in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the yeast, and set aside for approximately 15 minutes, or until the yeast has formed a creamy layer on top of the water.

Stir in the salt, 2/3 cup olive oil, and the eggs. Add the flour one cup at a time until the dough is tacky, but not sticky. Turn it out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for 90 minutes. Punch down the dough and divide it into two equal-sized pieces. Set one piece under a cloth so it doesn’t dry out, and cut the other piece into four equal parts to begin braiding.

Dissolve the honey in the water in a large mixing bowl, and stir in the yeast. Set the mixture aside until the yeast forms a creamy layer on top, about 15 minutes. Stir in the salt, 2/3 cup of olive oil, and beaten eggs. Add the flour 1 cup at a time until the dough is slightly tacky, but not sticky wet.

Roll each of the four pieces of dough in thin ropes about the width of your thumb and about 14 inches long. Pinch the tops of the four ropes together and fan them out on a floured surface.

Take the rope farther left, and move it to the right to cross underneath the next two ropes. Move it left to cross back over the strand immediately to its left. Take the far right strand, and move it to the left and cross it under the two strands to its left -- they are already crossed from the previous braid – and then move it right to cross back over the strand immediately to its right. Repeat until the strands are braided together, and pinch the ends together. Braid the second loaf, and then allow both to rise for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line the baking sheets with parchment paper.

Make the glaze by combining the milk, 2 tablespoons olive oil, egg white, and sugar. Brush the loaves with the glazes – this makes for a shiny crust – and bake for 30 minutes until they are lightly golden.