I was inspired by the folks at King Arthur Flour again with their beautifully explained post titled Challah-lujah. I varied their recipe, but mine still turned out beautifully. I am submitting this post to the weekly Yeastspotting event which now has my mouth watering for some fresh bread!
Challah by Joie de vivre inspired by King Arthur Flour blog
3/4 cup lukewarm water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
2 large eggs
4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbls. instant yeast
1 large egg, beaten
1 Tbls. cold water
1. Combine all the bread ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well then turn out onto the counter and knead well until smooth.
2. Place the dough ball in a greased bowl, turn it over so that the dough is lightly greased on all sides, then cover and leave to rise about 3 hours, until it is doubled.
3. Gently deflate the dough and separate it into 4 equal parts.
4. Take each part and roll into a 15 inch long rope. Let each rest a few minutes then continue to roll until the ropes measure about 21 inches each.
5. Lay the strands parallel to each other, pinch them together on one side, then follow these directions from King Arthur Flour on how to braid a 4 strand braid.
6. Gently place the loaf on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
7. Cover and let rise at least 45 minutes (or as long as it takes) to get nice and puffed.
8. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
9. Whisk together the glaze ingredients and gently brush on top of the loaf.
10. Optional: Sprinkle heavily with sesame seeds.
11. Place your baking sheet on top of another baking sheet to insulate the bottom of the loaf.
12. Bake the challah for 20 minutes. Tent the challah loosely with aluminum foil to prevent it from browning too much and bake for another 25 minutes.
13. Remove the bread from the oven and cool on a rack.