According to Jewish tradition, the three Sabbath meals (Friday night, Saturday lunch, and Saturday late afternoon) and two holiday meals (one at night and lunch the following day) each begin with two complete loaves of bread. (Source Wikipedia) Traditionally its a braided bread and is mostly sold that way.
Serious stuff and at the risk of being disrespectful I love Challah for making French Toast, it¨s terrific! I cannot count the times I have had French Toast with Challah in a New York restaurant for brunch. It is a real brunch classic. it’s also great for sandwiches. It has a bit of a loose crumb which make it perfect for serving toasted for breakfast or most meals.
I bake in a loaf pan which gives me lots of perfect slices and it will bake up perfectly fine.
- 482 gr All-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast 15 grams weighed
- 120 gr lukewarm water
- 85 gr honey
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 75 gr vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon large egg beaten with 1cold water
- 1 tablespoon large egg beaten with water
- Preheat oven to 190°C or 375° F
- Weigh the flour and add the salt.
- Weigh all the other ingredients on a scale including the water. Mix the water with the yeast, stir and set a side to grow.
- In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients add the flour and then all the wet ingredients and mix until it comes together. It will be quite sticky. Knead it for about 5 minutes by hand. I have a stand mixer so I just toss all the ingredients in and let it all come together then run it with the kneading hook for a few minutes.
- You don't really need a clean bowl for this rise. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place for its first rise
- Once the bread has risen remove it from the bowl and divide into 3 or 4 equal sized pieces, one for each part of the braid. and braid the bread. Set aside on the baking tray on a piece of parchment paper and cover with a dry towel. Let rise once again in a warm place. It will take a bit of time because of the eggs which slow things down.
- Let it rise until it's very puffy, 90 minutes to 2 hours at room temperature depending on how warm the room is.
- This bread is traditionally baked in a bread oven lying flat on a tray. If you bake it this way be sure to line it with parchment paper. It can also be baked I without being braided in a bread pan, which is great for more even slices. Which I have done here.
- The egg wash is simply made by whisking the egg and water together and then brushing the loaf before you put it in to bake.
- Once risen for the second time place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes. You may need to tent the loaf after 15 minutes or so to stop it from browning too much. Because of the egg wash, the bread can get too dark without it. Bake in the bottom 1/3rd of the oven. If you bake this on a tray place a second pan under the first to help stop the bottom from blacking up. Some ovens have a tendency to do that when baking. Mine does!!! The bread is done when it reaches and interior temperature of 87°C or 190° F.
- Once baked cool on a wire rack for at least an hour or two. Two is better.