How to Make Braided Challah Bread

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December 17, 2014

Challah, a rich golden yellow bread is usually apart of the Hanukkah table.  This braided bread carries religious significance in the Jewish faith but is also pretty darn delicious too.  Two loaves are typically served on the first night of Hanukkah to represent the double portion of manna, a sweet substance, that fell from heaven when the Israelites wandered the desert all those years ago.  During this time of year, bakeries load their trays with these loaves because people, no matter their faith, absolutely love this bread.

 If you cannot get your hands on a freshly baked loaf of challah, try your hand baking it yourself.  Unlike other bread recipes, challah is more forgiving and less finicky.  This particular recipe uses instant yeast so proofing is not necessary.  However, the dough does need ample time to rise twice which happens over the span of three hours.  The braid adds a decorative touch without much effort.  Once you remove your golden brown loaf from the oven, you will feel a sense of accomplishment that only comes with baking bread.

After you have mastered the basic loaf, feel free to flavor your challah with honey, garlic cloves, or chocolate chips.  Leftovers make wonderful French toast and bread pudding. 

Braided Challah Bread
Recipe from Handle the Heat

Ingredients:

3 to 3 1/4 cups (15 to 16 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, one egg separated (reserve the white for the egg wash)
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, at room temperature

For full recipe instructions, watch the video below or click here.

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