Challah (Holla!) Bread
Challah (pronounced Hollaaa!!) is a traditional Jewish bread eaten during the holidays that is sweet and eggy and delicious. Naturally, once I baked this I coated it in even more eggs (and cinnamon and milk and vanilla), fried it up and served with copious amounts of whipped cream, syrup and fruit to make an amazing French toast.
Challah (Holla!) Bread
Prep time: 3 hours (this includes resting time)
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Yield: 2 loaves of bread
2 ½ cups of warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
½ cup honey
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 eggs, divided
1 tablespoon salt
8 cups of all purpose flour
In a large mixing bowl combine warm water and honey until dissolved and then add yeast. Give it a few minutes (10) to ensure that it starts bubbling and the yeast is alive and then add oil, 2 eggs and salt. Add flour, one cup of a time, stirring until you are eventually using your hands and kneading into a ball. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until a smooth, elastic ball is formed. Return the dough to the bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled. This should take approximately an hour and a half.
Punch the dough and then divide into two equal parts. Knead each piece for a few minutes, adding flour as needed so that the dough is not sticky. Cover one of the pieces and set aside, while dividing the other piece into four equal parts.
Now it’s time to braid (well almost)! Roll the four pieces of dough into long snakes about 1 inch in diameter and make sure they are equal lengths. Lay them side-by-side and pinch the snakes together at the top, fanning the snakes out so that they do not touch.
Now comes to most confusing part. Let’s number the snakes from 1-5 from left to right. Grab snake number 5 and place it in between number 2 and 3. Now take snake number 1 and move it between snake number 5 and 3. Continue to take the outer snake from each side and move it to the middle (2 snakes on either side until the braid is complete). Hopefully these pictures help! Pinch the ends together and then tuck them underneath the loaf. Repeat the whole process with the remaining piece of dough.
Place each braided loaf on a lined or greased baking sheet, cover and let rise for another hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Poke holes in any bubbles in the challah bread that may have appeared during the last hour of rising. Beat the remaining egg and brush over the loaves.
Bake bread for 35-40 minutes, let cool and voila!
I’m not going to write out a full recipe for how to turn this into French toast cause c’mon guys. You know better than that. But here is a photo of it as French toast because I need to prove how good of an idea it is.