Monday, October 20, 2014

The Best Challah Bread

Happy Monday blogland! Last week was my first attempt at making challah bread, and let me tell you it came out AMAZING! My husband devoured a loaf in minutes (granted it was a mini loaf.)
I never knew how easy it was to make it! I am hooked, I am never buying challah again. 
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
What you will need:
2 1/2 lbs. bread flour or all purpose flour (approx. 10 cups)
2 tbsp. dry active yeast
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tbsp. salt
1/3 cup oil
2 3/4 cup warm water
2 eggs
1 egg+water for egg wash
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
Put yeast, 1-2 tsp. of sugar, and add 1/2 cup of water in a bowl. Mix the ingredients together and let the yeast proof (activate) and foam up until it doubles in size.
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
In a bowl of a stand mixer, add the 2 eggs and mix the eggs with a beater attachment. Then add all of the wet ingredients (the rest of the water, oil, yeast mixture) and mix together again. Add the sugar and salt and mix again.
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
With the mixer on the lowest speed, add flour cup by cup until the dough starts forming a ball and pulling away from the sides of the mixing bowl.
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
At this point, swap out the beater attachment for a dough hook. Keep adding flour cup by cup until the dough is no longer sticky to the touch. In total this should be roughly 10 cups of flour.
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
Knead the dough together by hand to make sure everything is incorporated together. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover the top of the dough with a thin layer of oil and cover with a wet towel. 
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
Let the dough rise until it doubles in size, this should be about an hour. Punch the dough down and let it rise for another hour.
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
At this point, you are ready to form the challahs. I like to do simple braids. 

I also stuffed the centers of one of my challah's braids with a cinnamon sugar mixture. To do this, all you need to do is combine sugar with cinnamon in a 4:1 ratio with a little bit of melted margarine.
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
Roll out your 3 ropes for the braids and flatten each. Lay out your filling in a thin line down each flattened rope and pinch up the sides to seal it in. Then just braid the challah like you would normally.
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
Once all of your challahs are formed, let them rise for an additional half hour. 

Top each challah off with egg wash (one egg with a little bit of water) and some cinnamon sugar if you want it sweet.

Bake at 350° F for 30 minutes.
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
Enjoy!

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