Challah Bread

Originally posted 3/27/16

Ingredients  (Yield: 1 large loaf)

2 teaspoons of yeast

1 cup of very warm water (Very Warm: quite warm, but not so hot that you can't touch it)

1 squirt of honey

3 eggs

3 to 3 1/2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon of salt

For the Glaze

2 tablespoons of butter, melted

OR

2 tablespoons of butter, melted, and 1-2 squirts of honey

OR

1 beaten egg

Instructions

Step 1: Combine water and honey in your mixing bowl. Add yeast and let sit for 5-7 minutes.

Step 1.5: Clean off your counter very well.

Step 2: Add eggs and salt to your yeast mixture, stir until thoroughly combined.

Step 3: Add flour 1 cup at a time and stir to combine

Step 4: Dump your dough onto the counter and knead. This dough tends to be a very pliable and a little sticky.

Step 5: Oil your mixing bowl. Place your bread dough into the mixing bowl and turn so that all sides are covered with the oil. Let dough rise undisturbed for 45-60 minutes.

Step 5.5: Clean off your counter again. Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Decide on which glaze you'd prefer to use, and prepare accordingly.

Step 6: Flatten your dough out into a somewhat rectangular shape. Divide it into three sections, and roll them in your hands until they are all approximately the same length and thickness.

Step 7: Braid the three sections together gently.

Step 8: Transfer your loaf carefully onto your lined cookie sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops and sides of the loaf with your glaze of choice. I used the melted butter option for this one, which creates a soft crust. Butter and honey creates a sweet, slightly sticky crust, and egg will give you a shiny crust. The choice is yours!

Step 9: Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool slightly or all the way before serving with butter, honey, or jam.