Challah is braided bread that’s light and fluffy with a slightly sweet taste. It’s perfect for eating on its own, or it makes delicious French toast!
*Makes: 1 large loaf
2 Tbsp. yeast
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
3 eggs plus one egg white (for egg wash)
4 1/2-5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
Poppy seeds (optional)
1. Combine yeast, warm water and 2 Tbsp. sugar in bowl of standing mixer. Let rest until yeast is dissolved and foamy, about five minutes.
2. Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 3 eggs, 4 cups flour, salt and butter. Mix on medium speed with dough hook until combined; turn speed to low and knead five to six minutes. Add flour by 1/4 cupfuls as needed if dough is sticky. Don’t add too much flour! As the dough kneads, it will become less sticky. You want a smooth and springy (and just slightly sticky) dough.
3. Form dough into a ball in the bowl, and cover bowl with damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap.
4. Put in warm place and allow to rise until doubled in size, about one hour.
5. Once it has risen, punch down dough and divide into three equal pieces. Roll pieces with hands into three equal pieces, about the length of a cookie sheet.
6. Braid the pieces together, just like braiding hair! Tuck both ends under loaf to seal.
7. Place braided loaf on parchment-lined or greased cookie sheet. Cover gently with kitchen towel and allow to rise about 45 minutes, until doubled in size.
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add a little water to egg white and brush top of loaf. Sprinkle poppy seeds on loaf, if desired.
9. Bake on lower middle rack for about 30 minutes, until bottom of loaf sounds hollow when tapped. If browning too quickly, cover top with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.
10. Let rest for five minutes before slicing.
For more recipes like this, visit Kiwi & Carrot, produced by our food blogger, Sarah Romero.