Challah Bread Recipe
I've tried giving up bread, but I might as well give up air. I grew up eating fresh homemade bread that was made weekly. Grandma Ruby made loaves and loaves of bread every Sunday, and there was always enough that lasted for the week. When I was younger I always wanted to be like the other kids, and bring my Wonder Bread sandwiches to school. I was soooo silly.
So back to making this bread - if you have a very large stand mixer then you can knead it in there. There's 8 cups of flour in this recipe so unless you've got a large mixer, it just won't fit in there. While I will admit, I use my stand mixer for everything under the sun, I will relent and knead bread and some pastry dough by hand, because I like to be able to feel when the gluten is activated and the dough looks nice and smooth.
The other reason that I don't use the mixer is because I've overkneaded more dough than I care to admit to. When I do it by hand, there is also absolutely zero chance that I'm going to over exert myself and over knead anything. Once I bring all of the ingredients together, I knead until the dough isn't sticky any more and then my job is done.
I keep a couple of these loaves in my freezer for those lazy Sunday mornings when I want fresh bread, but I have neither the time not the inclination to make it then.
Challah Bread Recipe
1. In a large bowl, immerse yeast into warm water. The water should look cloudy once the yeast is proofed.
2. Add in the honey oil, 2 eggs and salt. Then add the flour one cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Continue kneading dough by hand until it is no longer sticky, adding adidtional flour if needed. Cover bowl with a damp clean cloth or a piece of plastic wrap, and let it rise for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in bulk.
3. Once risen, punch down the risen dough and turn out on a floured board. Divide the dough into 3 sections and knead each third for 5 minutes, adding more flour if necessary to keep the dough from getting sticky. Divide each piece into thirds and roll into a long cylinder about 1.5 inches in diameter. Pinch the end of the three long cylinders together firmly and braid tgether, pinching the ends together when it's done. Place on a parchment covered tray, cover with a towel and let rise for one more hour.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
5. Beat the reaining egg into a small bowl, and brush a generous amount over each braided loaf. Sprinkle with Poppy seeds or sesame seeds, if desired.
6. Bake at 375F for about 30 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Once done remove from oven and cook on a rack for at least one hour before slicing.