Double-Braid Challah Bread With Sesame Seeds

Total Time
4hrs 55mins
Prep 4 hrs 30 mins
Cook 25 mins

The first time I baked this bread, the whole loaf disappeared in three hours--and only three people were in the house! It's based off a Betty Crocker recipe, with a few changes; the original recipe called for a lone egg, but I had a bunch of egg yolks after making meringue so I used those instead. You could substitute poppy seeds for the sesame seeds, or eliminate the seeds altogether, but I think they deliver a pleasant crunch.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients except milk and sesame seeds in a large bowl. The dough will be quite sticky at this point.
  2. Turn out onto a liberally floured board and have additional flour close at hand. Knead, adding flour as it is absorbed, until the dough is no longer sticky and is smooth and elastic, 5-10 minutes.
  3. Oil a large bowl and place dough inside, turning to coat dough on all sides. Allow to rise 1-2 hours, or until at least doubled in size.
  4. Divide dough into three sections. Take a third of each of the original three sections and reserve (there will be two braids; a large one for the bottom, and a smaller one for the top).
  5. Grease a cookie sheet.
  6. Roll and stretch the three larger sections of dough into ropes a little shorter than the sheet. Cross the tops of the ropes over one another and braid. Tuck braid ends under.
  7. Repeat step 6 will smaller dough sections, except braid the ropes on top of the first, larger braid.
  8. Grease double-braid liberally and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise 1-2 hours, or until at least doubled in size.
  9. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  10. In a small bowl, combine milk and sesame seeds. Uncover double-braid. Use a pastry brush to brush mixture, or your hands to rub mixture, over double-braid.
  11. Bake bread 20-30 minutes, or until deep golden brown.