This eggy, hearty challah bread is easy to make and certainly a hit! Tastes great right out of the oven or as French toast the next day!
It was a bread-making, pasta-making weekend, folks. I did something that felt like a zillion rigatonis (say, 10 servings or so) and a billion buckets of bread (say, 3 loaves + a serving of biscuits), not a gigantic breakfast of anything that came to mind on Saturday. because. I could.
Among the bread masses I have this weekend whipped up , Was my favorite challah recipe by Deb in Smitten Kitchen is from , And you GUYS. It is the best. So I decided to share it with the world (well … the part of the world, the Smitten Kitchens Recipe archives are not scary anyway) (not that I do, whatever) and also with a few selected friends who came dinner yesterday.
Braiding is difficult, people – I will not lie to you. It took a few tries and several batches of challah before I saw it reasonably well. There is a good tutorial on six strand braid here – I will not try to explain it myself because I fail. But watch the video – it helps! She begins to weave around the 1:40 mark.
This is what my plaited loaf looked like:
I started doing Challah for a Portland restaurant called Gravy, which brings the BOMB DIGGITY-EST French Toast to the planet. (On the PLANET, folks.) They do it with challah bread and a super secret custard-egg-dough recipe that I'm sure I've had to restore for years. Seriously – I know that many places make Custardy Toast with Challah bread.
But there's something magical about Gravy's. It is unique and will never be surpassed. Stay tuned for my copycat version of their super-french toast – I'm on the brink of a breakthrough, I can feel it!
And now that I've got fresh challah on my counter, I'm pretty sure it'll be French toast in my apartment (friends and / or french toast test guinea pigs welcome).
But until then, make some of this bread. Cut off a piece and butter it really nice. Sit on your couch, eat your challah, and pat yourself on the back to be so bread-soaked. The refusal to share something is perfectly acceptable – the bread does that only for the people.
INCOME: 2 loaves
- 5 teaspoons. dry yeast
- 1-3 / 4 cup of warm water
- ⅔ cup of sugar
- ½ cup olive oil, plus extra to grease a bowl
- Wash 5 eggs, plus 1 extra for one egg before baking (6 eggs in total)
- 1-2 tablespoons of salt, depending on taste (I use 1-1 / 2 tablespoons or so)
- 8 to 8-1 / 2 cups of flour, plus extra for kneading / dusting
- In a large bowl or bowl of your blender, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Leave for 5 minutes or until the yeast begins to foam.
- Mix oil, sugar and salt in yeast.
- Add 5 eggs one at a time.
- Add 8 cups of flour in 1 cup increments and mix the dough a little between each flour addition. (If you are using a blender, use the dough hook attachment here.) If you work without a blender, stir in as much flour as possible with a wooden spoon and then knead the remainder by hand).
- When you have added 8 cups of flour, look at your dough. It should be slightly sticky, but should still stick together and pull away from the sides of the bowl as you mix. If the dough is too wet, add more flour in ¼ cup increments until the dough reaches the proper consistency.
- If you are working with a blender, add an extra 1 tablespoon. Add the flour to the blender and knead the dough with the dough hook until the dough is smooth and holds it together. If you are working without a blender, turn the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface and knead it by hand until it reaches a smooth consistency.
- Oil a large bowl and put your dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and leave in a warm place for 1-1 / 2 hours or until it has doubled.
- When the dough has doubled, push it down and flip it over in your bowl. At this point, you can either let it rise again on the counter or let it slowly rise overnight in the fridge. ALWAYS I get in the fridge overnight, no matter what kind of bread I bake. It gives the flavors more time to develop and provides a much richer end product. If you're in a hurry, uncover the dough and let it rest on the counter for 45 minutes. If you need to wait, cover the dough again and put it in the fridge for 7-8 hours or overnight. After the dough has risen in the refrigerator, take it out and let it return to room temperature before proceeding to the next step (about 3-4 hours).
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface, lightly hollow out and cut into 12 equal pieces. (Each loaf will use 6 of these pieces). Set aside 6 pieces while making the first loaf.
- Roll each piece of dough into a long rope, about 12-14 ", and place the ropes parallel to each other on your floured surface. Can you see it this video for great instruction how to braid the pieces. Braid a loaf, set aside, and repeat the process with the remaining 6 pieces of dough. Transfer the loaves to a large baking tray.
- At this point, you can freeze one or both loaves to bake later, or you can let them rise one last time. When you freeze a loaf, remember to let it warm to room temperature before bake it. If you go straight to baking, cover each braided loaf and let it rise one last time – in a warm place for 1-1 / 2 hours or until the loaves have almost doubled (they should be fairly bloated).
- Beat your remaining 1 egg with 1 tablespoon. of water to wash an egg. Brush it liberally on each bread. Put the loaves in a 375 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, gently pull the baking tray out of the oven and give each loaf another generous washing brush.
- Put the loaves in the oven for 10-20 minutes or until the loaves have developed a deep golden color. Fully cooked loaves should make a hollow sound when you knock on them and have a sturdy outer crust. (Do not worry, the interior will be soft!)
- Let the loaves cool for 15-20 minutes. This bread tastes UN.BE.LIEVEABLE. if you eat it warm, it is also delicious at room temperature. Enjoy!
* Note: I'm doing Challah in my blender, one KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart but even my supercharged engine slows down and draws a bit with the amount of dough that this recipe produces. If you have a smaller standard blender, I recommend chopping or kneading the recipe into two parts and kneading it by hand.