Classic Challah Braided from 6 Strands

Every time I came across a recipe, the first thing I did was to see how I could adjust the recipe to. Maybe sometimes, I didn't  have all the ingredients, or I just simplified the complicated process. I don't remember even one time that I absolutely follow the recipe 100%. This is not a good way to learn how to make bread, since I am so close minded to my own cooking habit.

Last year, I purchased the book: The Bread Baker's Apprentice. It has tons of classic bread recipes including this classic challah. My plan is to make every single bread from the book. I will go extra miles to gather all the ingredients and follow all the detailed steps. This is the best way to learn. I believe after making all the classic breads, I will have the knowledge of how flour works.

So the classic challah is my first pick.

Classic Challah Braided from 6 Strands
Classic Challah Braided from 6 Strands

The classic challah uses 2 whole eggs with 2 egg yolks. The 4 yolks together give it beautiful yellow color through out the challah bread.
Classic Challah Braided from 6 Strands
Classic Challah Braided from 6 Strands

Ingredients: 2 medium size braided loaves
4 cups (18 ounces) unbleached bread flour
2 tablespoons (1 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (.25 ounces) salt
4/3 teaspoons (.15 ounces) instant yeast
2 tablespoons (1 ounces) vegetable oil
2 large (3.3 ounces) eggs, slightly beaten
2 large (1.25 ounces) egg yolks, slightly beaten
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon to 9/8 cups ( 7-9 ounces) water at room temperature
2 egg whites, whisked until frothy, for egg wash
sesame or poppy seeds for garnish

Classic Challah Braided from 6 Strands

1. Stir together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs and yolks and 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Mix all the ingredients and form a ball with a spoon. Add water if needed.

2. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes on a flour dusted counter. Add flour if needed to make a soft , supple, but not sticky dough. The dough should pass the windowpane test.

3. Form the dough into rough shape, coat the dough with oil, and let it ferment for an hour.

4. Degas the dough, and reform it into a ball, ferment for an additional hour. It should be at least 1.5 times its original size.

5. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 2 equal pieces, and further divide each piece into 6 pieces in order to make two 6-strand loaves. Round up each piece, and let them rest on the counter for 10 minutes.

6. Roll out the pieces into strands. Then braid them using the 6-braid method. The best way to learn how to braid is the video, check out the YouTube. After watching many videos, this is my favorite tutorial. Looks like it is demonstrated by a pastry chef.

7. Proof at the room temperature for 60-75 minutes, or until the dough has grown to 1.5 times its original size.
8. Preheat the oven to 350F. Brush with egg wash and  sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
9. Bake for 30 minutes.
10. When done, transfer the bread to a rack, and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Classic Challah Braided from 6 Strands
Classic Challah Braided from 6 Strands
Thanks for visiting, enjoy!


Rosita Vargas said...

Espectacular trenza un gran trabajo felcitaciones,hugs.

Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious said...

What a gorgeous challah!