Challah

I love bread. My friends and I sometimes have dinners that only consist of bread and cheese. And wine. Hitting all of the major food groups.

One of my favourite things to do is make my own bread, and one of my favourite cookbook’s is Molly Yeh’s Molly on the Range. I got it the day it was published and I’ve never been disappointed with anything I’ve made from it.

This is the basic challah recipe from her book and this recipe is foolproof. If you can bread hair, or really just twist strands of something together, you can 100% make this bread. It’s light, fluffy, soft, basically the ideal bread.

You can eat it by itself, slathered with butter or jam, or even do what I did with one loaf and use it to make French toast. Honestly, you’ll never be buying store-bought challah again. And you’ll probably not be making French toast without challah again either. IT’S SO GOOD.

I first made this a couple of months ago and I’ve made it a few more times since then because people really cannot get enough of it. My girl Molly knows what she’s doing when it comes to all things challah!

People always think bread-making, especially bread-making that involves something other than just casually throwing the dough in a loaf pan is too complicated but let me tell you, it isn’t. For this all you do is mix together ingredients, knead it and leave it to rise. Then you deflate it, shape it, let it rise again and bake. Piece of cake from beginning to end. Don’t be intimidated by the braiding process. You can do it. I believe in you.

Challah

Yield: 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 tsp. (2 envelopes) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp. plus 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup flavourless oil
  • 1/4 cup additional sweetener: sugar, brown sugar, honey or molasses
  • Egg wash: 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp. water

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the yeast, warm water and 1 tsp. of the sugar and give it a little stir. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the flour, salt and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and additional sweetener.
  3. When the yeast is foamy, add it to the dry mixture immediately followed by the egg mixture and stir to combine. Knead, either by hand on a floured surface or with the dough hook until you have a smooth and slightly sticky dough, 7 to 10 minutes, adding more white flour as necessary (but resist any urge to add too much!).
  4. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, and let sit at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours. Alternatively, you can stick it in the refrigerator overnight and then let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour before shaping.
  5. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough in half and, working with half of the dough at a time (leaving the other half covered), pat the dough out into a long rectangle, roughly 3 inches by 12 inches. From this, cut three long and skinny rectangles and roll them out a bit to get 3 long snakes. Pinch them together at one end and then braid the snakes and pinch them at the other end. Transfer the loaf to a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining half of the dough. Let them rise, covered, at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  7. Brush the loaves with a thin even layer of egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and have an internal temperature of 190°F. Begin checking for doneness at 28 minutes.
  8. Let the loaves cool until they’re jusssst cool enough that they won’t burn your mouth, and then enjoy with lots of butter.

Recipe from Molly Yeh's book, Molly on the Range

http://www.bryonycooks.com/challah/

1 Comment

  1. ahh this looks so good!! agree that french toast with challah is a game changer. i definitely shy away from yeast and bread (probably bc i’ve used old yeast a couple times which obv doesn’t really work), but all the recipes i’ve tried from molly so far have been amazing (have you tried her matcha cake recipe?!) so i’ll have to give this one a go (:

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