challah6This is the first time I made Challah bread so I decided to use one of my favorite bread recipe books by Jeffrey Hamelman, BREAD. When I was a kid, my grandmother used to make it fresh and we would all eat it with warm milk. But this is the first time I’m actually making it myself.
This recipe yields a pretty big loaf of Challah bread so it will serve you for at least couple of breakfasts.  If it gets stale there is no better bread that you could use for making French toast.

Ingredients:
1 lb, 5 ¾ oz (4 7/8 cups) of bread flour
10.6 (2 3/8 cups) of all purpose flour
2.6 oz (5 tablespoons) of sugar
4 egg yolks
2 large eggs
5 ½ tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil
10.2 oz (1 1/4 cups) of water
1 tablespoon of salt
2 ¾ teaspoon of instant yeast

This is a very simple preparation process. Transfer all the ingredients into a standing mixer bowl and using the dough attachment mix all the ingredients for 3 minutes on low speed.  Then mix them for another 5 minutes at medium speed. This will help to develop a strong gluten network.
dough
Put it aside in a warm place, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 2 hours. After 1 hour of resting, degas the dough by punching it and let it rest for another hour.
braids4
Divide the dough into 6 pieces if you decide to make 6 braids. You can try less or more but I found out that 6 seems the easiest.  Let the pieces rest for another 15 minutes and then start rolling them out into long strips.
Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
braiding

Put the braids on an unfloured surface and attach them all together at one end. It looks a little bit like an alien.
braiding2
Then spread out the strips, dividing them into two parts.
assembling
With 3 strands on the left and 3 on the right start with the left side and put the outside strand into the middle towards the 3 strands on the right.
assembling1
Now take the right outside strand and do exactly the same by dragging it over to the middle side, placing it next to the remaining 2 left strands.
assembling2
Continue the pattern, bringing the left outer strand to the inside and placing it alongside the innermost strand, then bringing the outer right strand to the inside, placing it alongside the innermost left strand. Finish the braid by putting the remaining strands together.
loaf1
When the loaf is assembled cover it with the kitchen towel and let it rest for 2 more hours.
loaf3
It will double its size.
Heat the oven to 380F and in the meantime cover the loaf with egg wash using a brush.
loaf4
Bake from 30 to 40 minutes until it’s golden.

challah3

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