April 28, 2011

Challah I

Today's sandwich loaf.

The original recipe calls for two smaller loaves with a 4 strand braid, but as I need to make sandwiches with this, I just did a three strand braid in one of my extra large pans (they measure 29.8cm (11 3/4") x 14 cm (5 1/2") x 8.26 cm (3 1/4")).

Challah I
makes 1 extra large loaf or 2 smaller loaves

1/3 cup honey
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup olive oil
2 eggs
5 cups unbleached flour, plus more if needed (I used about 5 3/4 cups, but it's a wet day)
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg white
1 tablespoon white sugar
Poppy seeds (optional)

Dissolve the honey in the water in a large mixing bowl, and stir in the yeast. Set the mixture aside until the yeast forms a creamy layer on top, about 15 minutes. Stir in the salt, 2/3 cup of olive oil, and beaten eggs. Add the flour 1 cup at a time until the dough is slightly tacky, but not sticky wet.

Turn it out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Lightly oil a bowl, place the dough in the bowl, turn the dough over a few times to oil the surface, then let rise until doubled in a warm, draft-free place, about 90 minutes.

To make the loaves, punch down the dough. Weigh and cut it into 3 equal-sized pieces.

Roll out each piece into a strand about 18 inches long (if yours are shorter, that's fine!).

Starting close to the top, braid the strands into a braid.  When done, go back to the very top and finish off the braid.

If using a large pan, fit into the pan, tucking the ends under as needed. If doing a free form bread, place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Let the braided loaves rise for 1 hour.

Unrisen dough
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

Make a glaze by whisking together the milk, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the egg white, and the sugar in a bowl. Brush the braided loaves with the glaze, sprinkle with poppy seeds as desired

For loaf, bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, for free form loaf about 30 minutes.

I found the sides a little soft, so I returned the loaf to the oven to bake for 5 minutes longer.

Next time I'd use butter instead of olive oil, the taste is overpowering. Not unpleasant, but just very "olive-y".
Again submitting to yeastpotting! I'm addicted.


  1. Such a perfect texture, this looks fantastic!

  2. I love to make challah bread...well, any bread...I am a carb addict! ;) You did a fabulous job braiding the bread...looks great!

  3. I have two daughters, I'm used to braiding. :D Thank you for your lovely words!

  4. Hi! I'm having a linky party called A Themed Baker's Sunday where this weeks theme is bread! I would love for you to join! Hope to see you there!