Braided Challah Loaves
Homemade challah is a flavor-rich bread to enjoy alongside a meal, with your afternoon tea, or on its own. It's also gorgeous, thanks to the braiding design. The addition of honey in this recipe adds a slight tang and makes enough bread for you to gift to a neighbor or turn the leftovers into french toast.
Prep Time2 hours, 30 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Cook it With Our
- 1½ tablespoons active dry yeast
- ½ cup honey, plus 1 tablespoon
- 1¾ cups warm water
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 2½ teaspoons salt
- 8 cups bread flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- In a bowl or a stand mixer, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon honey in 1¾ cups warm water. About 5 minutes.
- Use the hook attachment to whisk in the eggs and oil and the rest of the honey and salt. Add flour a little at a time until the dough comes together. Knead the dough on medium speed until smooth, about 10 minutes. The dough should pull cleanly away from the mixing bowl. Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 1 hour until doubled.
- Punch the dough down and recover. Let it rise a second time in a warm place, about 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough in half and cover one portion with plastic wrap.
- Using half, the dough, cut the dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 20-inch rope. You may need to let the rope rest for a few minutes before continuing to stretch it out.
- Lay the three dough ropes parallel to one another on a clean work surface. Press the ends of one side of each rope together. Braid the ropes in an overlapping pattern until you reach the end. Press the ends together and place on a sheet of parchment paper.
- Repeat these steps with the other half of the dough and cover the loaves with plastic wrap for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with one rack in the center of the oven and one rack on the bottom. Place a large cast iron skillet on the bottom rack to preheat.
- Brush loaves with egg wash all over. Place loaf on a pizza pan sprayed with oil and place in the oven. Add one cup of water to the preheated skillet already in the oven, just before closing the oven door. The trapped steam will help give the bread a quick start, essentially searing the exterior. Bake for 35-40 minutes, rotating once halfway through baking. Challah should be golden brown, and the internal temperature should be 195 degrees F checked with probe thermometer.
- Cool on wire rack before eating.
Pro tip: To ensure even browning, quickly brush the loaves again with egg wash after 15 minutes in the oven.