Challah Bread

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Challah Bread

Challah Bread is a braided bread with a rich flavor, traditionally enjoyed during Jewish ceremonial occasions such as Shabbat and holidays. We recommend serving with our seasonal 1Acre Jams.

What You'll Need

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1/2 cup (100 g) plus 1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup (240 ml) warm water

4 1/2-5 cups (630-700 g) Hayden Flour Mills All Purpose Flour

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/3 cup (75 ml) vegetable oil, plus more for bowl

3 eggs, divided

Sesame seeds for topping, optional

Directions

  1. Stir together the yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and warm water and let sit until foamy.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together 4 1/2 cups of the flour, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and the salt.
  3. Add the oil and 2 of the eggs to the yeast mixture and whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture and stir until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding up to 1/2 cup (70 g) additional flour, a little at a time as needed, until the dough is supple and elastic, about 10 mins. (The dough can also be kneaded in a stand mixer fit with a dough hook).
  4. Grease a large bowl with a little oil, add the challah, and turn to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  5. Deflate the dough and divide in half. Divide each half into thirds and roll each third into a long rope. Braid the ropes into two braided loaves (3 strands each), and place on a large, rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let rise until puffed, another 30 to 60 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Whisk the remaining egg in a bowl, and brush a layer of egg wash over each loaf. Sprinkle tops with sesame seeds, if desired. Bake until deep golden brown and cooked through (registering 195F on a digital thermometer), 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer loaves to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before slicing.

Makes 2 loaves.

Reprinted with permission from The Jewish Cookbook, by Leah Koenig (Phaidon, 2019)

Leah Koenig is a cookbook author who has been writing about Jewish food for over a decade, primarily for publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, Food & Wine, Tablet, Food52, and Epicurious. Follow Leah on Instagram and her blog, The Jewish Table.

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