Challah bread is delicious fresh out of the oven, toasted with butter, and a few days old for French Toast. No matter how you slice it, this bread recipe takes the cake (I mean challah)!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Additional Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 20 minutes
Yield: 2 loaves
- 2 tsp sugar + 1/3 C sugar
- 2 tsp dry yeast
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup grape-seed or other neutral oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Measure 2/3 cup warm water (around 110 degrees F - if it's too hot then the heat will kill the yeast). Dissolve 2 tsp sugar and add 2 tsp dry yeast. Let it sit about 5 minutes for yeast to bloom (it will look foamy on top).
Combine flour, 1/3 cup sugar + 1 tsp salt.
In a separate bowl, combine 2 eggs, canola oil, vanilla extract and 3/4 cup warm water. Add yeast mixture.
Combine wet and dry ingredients in a mixer on low for about 30 seconds or mix by hand.
Knead dough on a floured surface for about 5 - 6 minutes.
Turn on warming drawer's proof setting. If you are using a conventional oven, then turn on oven to 180 degrees F. Once the oven reaches this temperature, turn off oven.
Place dough in a well oiled glass or metal bowl and cover with a clean towel. Place in oven to proof (let the dough rise). Within 1 - 2 hours it should double in size.
Remove bowl from oven and punch down dough. Braid dough and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Mix 1 egg + 1 Tablespoon water to make egg wash, and brush it on top of loaf. Bake bread at 350 degrees F (or 325 convection setting) for 25 - 35 minutes. Top of loaf will be golden brown and should sound hollow when lightly tapped. You can also test the center with a toothpick.
Short Cut: Make the dough ahead of time and freeze it.
Think Out of the Ice Box: Mix in raisins or chocolate chips or top with sesame or poppy seeds.