Total Time
3hrs
Prep 45 mins
Cook 2 hrs 15 mins

This was the first bread I made by hand and I fell in love with it. It's pretty versatile--I've been able to make all kinds of alterations without screwing it up. It has a beautiful crust and is so moist and fluffy. You can use this to make one large loaf, or make six ropes and braid two smaller loaves for Shabbos.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Boil potatoes in water until tender; drain and reserve 3/4 cup potato-water (adding a little more water if necessary).
  2. Mash potatoes and set aside.
  3. Make sure potato-water is warm (about 115 degrees), and sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup potato water until bubbly (about 10 minutes).
  4. In large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, salt, honey, butter, potatoes, yeast and potato-water. Beat hard with a wooden spoon until creamy.
  5. Add eggs and beat for 2 minutes.
  6. Add flour a little at a time until mixture forms a shaggy dough that clears the sides of the bowl.
  7. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead until springy.
  8. Brush a medium bowl lightly with olive oil. Place dough in bowl and brush surface lightly with olive oil.
  9. Cover bowl loosely with a cloth towel and let dough rise at room temperature until double in bulk (about 45 minutes).
  10. Meanwhile, lightly brush baking sheet with olive oil.
  11. Cut dough into three even pieces, rolling each into a rope. Braid together, beginning from the center.
  12. Place challah braid onto baking sheet, cover loosely with cloth towel, and let rise until double in bulk (about 45 minutes).
  13. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  14. Make glaze: beat egg with 1 teaspoon of water. Brush all over top surface of challah braid. Sprinkle with seeds.
  15. Place in oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees.
  16. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until golden brown. The loaf should sound hollow when tapped on the center of the bottom.
  17. Cool completely on baking sheet.
  18. Enjoy!

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