Back in high school I got into a bread-making phase. It didn’t last too long because my family couldn’t quite decide what type they liked and then my mother just discouraged it because we weren’t too eat so many carbs.
Well, I say poo on that! This bread is perfect for the winter, especially for the holiday season. It’s super easy to make, super rich, and super versatile! The dough can be frozen (just let it thaw for the afternoon before assembling loaf and allowing to rise again). The shiny crust (from the egg wash) makes this a gorgeous addition to any dinner table. Also, Challah bread, like the original recipe author stated, makes some of the best french toast ever!
Based on the recipe at Smitten Kitchen
1 Tbsp yeast
7/8 c tepid water
1/3 c Sugar
1 c Water
1/4 c Veg Oil
3 Eggs (Local – from the Farmer’s Market)
1/2 Tbsp salt
4-4 1/2 c Flour (unbleached bread flour)
Preheat oven to 150F. Place oven proof bowl half full with water into back corner of oven.
Combine yeast, water, and 1 tbsp sugar in oven proof bowl. Allow the yeast to foam. Add remainder sugar, water, oil, 2 eggs, salt and 2 cups of flour. Stir until smooth. Slowly add remainder flour until dough becomes elastic (like bread dough) and knead for 5 minutes. Return dough to oiled, oven proof bowl. Cover with cloth. Turn off oven and place bowl with dough on oven rack. Allow to rise for 1 hour our until doubled in size.
Remove dough from oven, punch in middle. Recover, return to oven for 1/2 hour.
Remove dough from oven, punch in middle. Divide into 3 or 4 (or more if you can handle it) strands about 1-1 1/2 inch thick. Braid strands together. Pinch dough together at bottom and top. Allow to rise again. Ideally, this session should last about 2 hours in the refrigerator or 1 hour in the oven, covered in a damp cloth.
When dough has finished rising, preheat oven to 375. Beat remaining egg in dish. Apply egg wash to bread. Bake bread for 30-40 minutes.