Challah bread/Six strand braided bread
Challah bread is the special bread in Jewish Cuisine. Its typically a braided bread, the choice of making it 3 stranded braided bread or 6 stranded braided bread is absolutely yours. Making the braid is no big deal, specially if its 3 stranded braid. This challah bread has the egg flavor as we add eggs to the flour and its soft and slightly sweet. There is no fussy techniques involved, all you have to do is mix everything together, allow the dough to rise and braid it to perfection as that makes us to fall in love at first sight over Challah bread.
What you are seeing here is a six strand braid, this dough is so smooth that it makes braiding an easy task. For braiding techniques you can check this.
All purpose flour 3 cups and little more for dusting
Egg 2 whole eggs and egg yolk from one egg (reserve the egg white for egg wash mixed with a tablespoon of water)
Butter 4 tablespoons melted
Instant yeast 2 1/4 teaspoon
Oil 1 teaspoon
Sugar 1/4 cup
salt 1 teaspoon
Water 1/2 cup
How to Start?
Take a wide bowl mix together the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. In another bowl mix together the 2 whole eggs, 1 egg yolk, melted butter, and water until its all well combined. Now add the flour mixture, gradually. Start kneading it for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. Add a little more flour if you find the dough is sticky.
Now shape the dough into a ball, apply a teaspoon of oil over it. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in size, for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. After it has doubled in volume, gently press down on the dough to deflate it then cover with cloth again and let the dough rise again. This will take around 45 minutes. This is the second rise.
After the second rise, transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll each portion into a long rope. Line up six strands and pinch them together at one end. Braid the rope pieces, Check this for braiding. Place the braid on a parchment paper and let it rise for about 30 to 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Glaze the bread with egg white that we reserved earlier. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown. Let it cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Challah bread tastes the best as it is, or as french toast or definitely the best for sandwiches