Challah Bread

by Shawnda on June 21, 2011

in Bread,Breakfast

Homemade Challah Bread

Motherhood is many things. Exhausting. Fun. Maddening. Hilarious. Frustrating. Exciting. One thing it’s not? Boring. There’s always a new word, a silly face, a funny imitation, or an emptied box of pasta or a container of cinnamon on the kitchen floor. It’s never boring. Ever.

Every morning, I turn on Sesame Street after breakfast and we play in the living room floor. I have grown quite fond of Elmo and Abby. And the animated shorts between skits, especially the Bread Roll Call.

And unless you want to walk around for days rapping about the different kinds of whole grain bread, it’s probably best that you don’t click that link. Because no one in this house can utter the word challah without following that up with a rap of “Spelt Bread. Multi-grain. Pumpernickel! PITA!”

Challah is the most beautiful bread. Ever. A big, poofy braided loaf – or in this case, an impressive double-decker braided loaf – of deep golden brown bread that’s absolutely perfect for a simple breakfast of fruit & toast or a fancy breakfast (and dinner!) of french toast. It looks like a lot more work than it is. With a mixer, there’s only about 20 minutes of actual hands-on work, gathering and adding the ingredients and making the pieces for the braid. 20 minutes! What are you waiting for?

Challah Bread

A double-decker braided loaf of bread that's perfect for french toast.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup very warm water
  • (1 pkg) 2 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk (reserve the white for the egg wash)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place the water in the bowl of your stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over top. Let proof for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the flours, sugar, salt, whole eggs, egg yolk, and olive oil and mix on low until combined.
  3. Turn speed to medium and knead 5-7 minutes. The dough should be mostly smooth, elastic, and only slightly tacky.
  4. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Place in a warm place to rise (about 1 hour).
  5. Press down on the dough to deflate and then cover, letting rise until doubled again (about 45 minutes).
  6. Pull off 1/3 of the dough (you can weight this to be exact), set aside, and cover.
  7. Divide the remaining piece of dough into 3 equal balls.
  8. Roll each ball on a lightly floured countertop until you have thin, round strip of doughs ~16 inches long.
  9. Pinch one end of the dough strips together and braid, pinching the end together when finished.
  10. Divide the smaller piece of reserved dough into 3 balls and roll and create a second braid.
  11. Whisk the reserved egg white with 1 Tbsp of water and lightly brush the top of the large braid.
  12. Set the smaller braid on top of the larger bread. Cover loosely and let rest for 30 minutes.
  13. Preheat oven to 375. Brush entire loaf with egg white and bake for ~30 minutes, until dark brown.

Notes

Yields: ~1 3/4 lb loaf

Adapted from Baking Illustrated, via Annie's Eats

Estimated time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Nutritional Information
Serves: 16
Calories: 98.5 | Fat: 1.6 | Fiber 1.7 | Protein 3.5 | Carbs 18.1
Weight Watchers Points Plus: 3

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