Mother nature has been not so politely reminding us that winter is far from over. Stuck in the house as another wave of snow rolls in was the perfect excuse to do a little baking. If baking with yeast scares you, don’t let it. As long as your yeast is fresh (i.e. check those expiration dates) you should have no problems. I included some step by step photos for this one to help ease your worries further. With your leftover bread, go ahead and make some bomb french toast the next morning (if there is any leftover that is). There’s even a recipe on here to do just that, check it out!
I use a Kitchen Aid stand mixer for most of my baking, but if you don’t have a stand mixer do not fret. I include notes on how you can do this one by hand as well.
Golden brown, fluffy, and wonderfully light. Challah bread is perfect not only day of, but second day Challah makes the BEST French Toast. Recipe at KathleensCravings.com
- 1 packet instant dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoon)
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 4 to 4/13 cups all purpose flour (plus additional for kneading)
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar (plus additional pinch to add to yeast)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 eggs (2 whole, and 1 separated (you will use both yolk and egg white))
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used canola oil, but any neutral-flavored oil will do)
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the lukewarm water and add a pinch of sugar. Stir together and let stand. The yeast should form a frothy layer across the top. This means your yeast is good to go.
- While the yeast is sitting, whisk together 4 cups of flour, the sugar, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl if doing things by hand.
- Make a well in the flour mixture and add the 2 whole eggs, 1 egg yolk, and the oil. Mix these 3 things together with a fork (it’s okay if a little flour gets pulled in).
- Pour the yeast over the egg and oil mixture. Mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until you form a shaggy dough.
- Using the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer, knead the dough for 6 to 9 minutes on low speed. You may need to add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time) if the dough seems overly sticky. If you’re doing this the old fashioned way, knead on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes (we call this our workout for the day). The dough is done kneading when it is soft, smooth, just slightly tacky, and holds a ball shape.
- Place the ball of dough in a oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for 1 1/2 to 2 hours to rise. The dough should at least double in size.
- Separate the dough into 3 equal pieces (or 6 if you want to do a fancy braid or make two smaller loaves). Roll each piece of dough into a long rope about one inch thick. If the ropes keep shrinking as you roll, then set that piece aside to rest for a few minutes before rolling again.
- Braid the dough ropes and squeeze the three tips of the ropes at the top and bottom of the braid.
Let the bread rise one more time on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Sprinkle the braid with a little flour and cover with a tea towel and let rise for about 1 hour in a warm spot.
- When the dough is almost done rising, preheat the oven to 350° F. Whisk the egg white with about a tablespoon of water and brush all over the challah braid.
- Bake the challah for 30-35 minutes. The bread will be deeply browned and measure 190 F on an instant-read thermometer. Serve warm or at room temperature.
For my warm spot to rise, I preheat my oven to a low temp (about 200° F) then I place the dough in the oven, turn off the oven, and leave the oven door cracked.
- Category: Sides
- Cuisine: American