What Is a Recipe for Traditional Challah Bread?

What Is a Recipe for Traditional Challah Bread?

To make traditional challah bread, make a dough from water, yeast, eggs, flour and salt, and let it rise for 2 hours. Divide the dough into three sections, braid them, and bake the bread for 45 minutes. This recipe yields one loaf.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1/2 cup lukewarm water, 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1/4 cup honey, 2 eggs and 4 cups all-purpose flour, then add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 tablespoon instant yeast. Mix the dough until it is firm and smooth. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rest for two hours.

Spread flour on a flat work surface. Uncover the dough, punch it down, and turn it out of the bowl. Cut it into three equal pieces, and roll them into 6-inch cylinders. Cover them with oiled plastic wrap, and wait 10 minutes. Uncover the dough, roll the cylinders into 15-inch logs, and replace the plastic wrap. Wait 15 minutes, uncover the dough, and roll the logs out until they are 20 inches long.

Lay the strands parallel, and pinch them together at one end. Gently braid the dough pieces, and pinch the other end closed. Tuck both ends under the loaf. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set the bread on it, and cover it with oiled plastic wrap. Let the loaf rest for 90 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, whisk one egg with 1 tablespoon water. Uncover the loaf, brush the egg wash over the surface, and set the baking sheet on top of a second baking sheet. Put the bread into the oven, and bake it for 20 minutes.

Take the loaf out of the oven, cover it with a folded sheet of aluminum foil, and bake it for 25 additional minutes. Cool the bread on a rack before slicing.