Traditional and sweet bread used to welcome the Jewish sabbath and other festivals. This recipe uses the bread machine to make the dough and then the bread is braided and cooked in your oven.
- put the 1st 5 ingredients in the bread machine.
- layer on 4 cups of the flour.
- add the yeast on top.
- start the bread machine on the dough only setting.
- after the machine starts to mix the dough, check the dough to see if it is sticky; if so sprinkle on additional flour (up to 1/2 cup).
- when the dough cycle is over, divide the dough into two equal parts; divide each 1/2 into three equal parts; roll the thirds out and then braid; repeat with the other 1/2.
- place your braided loaves on a greased backing sheet and allow to rise for 45 minutes in a warm, draft free place (your oven works well).
- remove the risen loaves from the oven.
- preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- mix the egg yolk with a few drops of water and glaze the loaves; if you want you can add sesame or poppy seeds to the top of the bread.
- return the loaves to the oven and bake for 25 minutes; the loaves will be golden brown.
- remove the loaves from the oven and cool on a wire rack before serving.
- you may also divide the dough into halves and form into loaves to bake in a traditional loaf pan; you can also choose to glaze or not; same cooking time; remove from loaf pans before cooling.
This is a pretty good challah recipe. It's a bit on the sweet side for me, even though I was a bit short on the honey (about a tablespoon or so). The recipe I normally use has more eggs & butter, and so is more rich than sweet. Still, it's certainly a good bread! It came out of the oven rather soft, so I was concerned that it wouldn't be baked through--but it was, and it had a lovely, fine, even texture to it. It'll make fabulous French Toast tomorrow, I'm sure! Also, mine are a bit darker than I expect they should be, as I had my convection fan on but hadn't reduced the temperature. Thanks very much for posting! TIP: When braiding bread, lay the three ropes of dough side-by-side, then begin to braid (just like hair) in the *middle*, not at one end. You'll end up with a much more balanced-looking loaf if you do! Braid all the way to the end, pinch ends together and tuck under, then go back to the middle and braid down the other side in the same manner. Transfer to baking sheet carefully to avoid stretching and distorting the braided loaf.