Homemade Challah

makes 1 large loaf

3 1/2-4  cups bread flour (I use King Arthur)

1/4 cup honey

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast or 1 package active dry yeast

2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten

2 oz (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup warm water

For the wash:

1 egg

1 T water

Combine all of the ingredients and 3 1/2 cups of the flour in the bowl of a standing mixture.  Mix on low for 4 minutes.  With the mixture on low, gradually add the remaining flour a little at a time until you achieve a soft but not sticky dough.  (Note: you may not need all of the flour.  It will depend on the moisture level in the air.)  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball.  Lightly grease a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough into the bowl turning once to grease the surface of the dough.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 1 1/2 hours.  

Gently deflate the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide the dough equally into thirds.  Roll out each portion into an 16 in rope.  Place the ropes onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  To braid, pinch one end of each rope together then gently fold each outside rope over the middle rope alternating sides just as you would if you were braiding hair.  Cover the braid with a clean kitchen towel or a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap.  Let the dough rise for another hour.  

Preheat the oven to 350º.  To make the wash, mix together the egg and water and gently brush over the surface of the braid.  Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.  Remove form the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.  Enjoy!

Printed from thegalleygourmet.net