I baked this bread in honor of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Challah bread plays an important role in celebrating this holiday. Believe me, you do not have to be Jewish to enjoy this bread. Actually, on most Jewish holidays, my daughter has some of her closet friends who do not celebrate the holidays join our table. It is a great joy to open our traditions to friends and family . It is also an understatement to say tthat Challah dipped in honey which symbolizes a “Sweet Year” is devoured before our meal even begins. You will see that the bread is glazed with egg and honey!!!!
This is the first year that I attempted to make Challah bread. As you will see it is not so perfect, but delicious. I did use my stand up mixer which made it a whole lot easier. Don’t fret if you do not have a stand up mixer, it just means you will be getting an awesome arm and upper back workout kneading the dough. You are home free once the dough is kneaded, as most of the time is inactive, as the dough is rising. It is our tradition to first braid the challah, then connect the edges forming a circle, thus representing “The Circle of Life.”
Now, get your apron on, and start baking! I assure you this will become a family favorite. Rest assured, you will be making French Toast with this Challah!
The smell of love with be permeating throughout your home….
Ingredients: For the challah dough:
2 tablespoons of active, dry yeast
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups of warm water ( test the water, it should be a comfortable warm temp)
1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/3 cup olive or grapeseed oil
7 cups of all purpose flour
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
For the glaze: 2 egg yolks 2 teaspoons honey
1. In the bowl of the electric stand mixer, dissolve yeast and honey in 2 cups of warm water. Allow to stand for 5 minutes
2. Add the egg, the egg yolk and oil, mix well
3. Add the salt and flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition with the dough hook. When the dough starts to come together, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead with your hands. Knead until smooth and until no longer sticky. You want the dough to be moist
4. Rinse out bowl and grease with additional oil. Put the dough in the bowl, and cover with a clean, damp cloth. Set in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes, or until dough has doubled in bulk
5. Punch down the dough and turn onto floured board. Divide into three balls, knead each one briefly, then roll each into long strands. Pinch the ends of the three strands together firmly, then braid. Form into a round braided loaf by bringing the ends together, curving braid into a circle, and pinch together
6. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer the challah to the sheet. Beat the egg yolks and honey together in a small bowl and brush the challah with it, then place the dough in a cool oven and allow it to rise for 45 minutes
7. Take the dough out of oven and brush it with more of the egg yolk and honey glaze.
8. Place challah back in the oven and turn the temp to 350 degrees F. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the bread has a nice hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a rack before slicing.
You will be creating a fresh bread with absolutely no preservatives…….No pressure!! Just pure fun!!!!