Eggs lend to the richness of this traditional braided bread. The attractive golden color and delicious flavor make it hard to resist. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 6 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon cold water
- 1 tablespoon sesame or poppy seeds, optional
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the oil, sugar, salt, eggs and 4 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a firm dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Divide each portion into thirds. Shape each piece into a 15-in. rope.
- Place three ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Beat egg and cold water; brush over braids. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if desired. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each).
Originally published as Challah in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2001, p245
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