Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Challah Bread

Yum! Challah bread is a family tradition at Thanksgiving and Christmas. My aunt who always makes the bread was traveling this year so I decided to take on the task. As shown in the photo above, it came out great! Here's the recipe:

1 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup butter (ideally room temperature)
1 cake yeast (1 pkg. dry yeast - I got mine from Trader Joes)
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs (4th egg to paint the top of bread)
6 cups flour
2 tsp salt

Mix warm water and yeast. Gradually add other ingredients. Put the butter in small slices so it melts (ok if it does not melt fully). Put in sugar, salt, some of the flour, the eggs and then the rest of the flour. Mix with hands once the last bit goes in. Form into a nice ball and cover with dish cloth to let rise until double. Find a nice warm spot. Several hours are needed. Then punch down and let rise 15 minutes. Divide dough into three sections and braid. Paint with 4th egg. Can also paint again half way through cooking. Put in 350 degree oven (do not preheat) for 15 minutes, then lower to 325 and cook until golden 45 min - 1 hour. Delicious served with Jarlesberg or Swiss cheese.

I'm now in the process of making my 3rd loaf and am ready to impress my coworkers at our post-holiday pot luck lunch tomorrow. When making this during the work week I let the bread rise overnight, punch it down in the morning and then put in the refrigerator until I'm ready to bake it the following night.

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