This is a delicious challah. I believe it is the honey that makes this loaf so delicious. You may make this by hand or in your bread machine.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 t salt
- 1 to 2 T sugar (or honey)
- 1-1/2 t yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2-1/2 T oil
- 1 egg
Using a two-cup measuring cup, fill with water and place in the microwave for 40 seconds. Take the water from the microwave and add two teaspoons of yeast to the water. Add 1/4 cup of honey to the water and stir with a fork until mixed. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt together with a wisk. Add the egg and mix together lightly. Add the yeast mixture and mix together until it forms a dough. Flour your work surface and pour the dough out onto the floured surface. Knead the dough, adding additional flour as needed to make a nice dough that is not to sticky. Knead the dough for about ten minutes.
Spray your special challah bowl with cooking spray and turn the dough into the bowl until the dough is greased on all sides. Cover this bowl with wax paper and place into an oven that has been pre-heated to 175 degrees and then turn off. Let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, which will be about 1 1/2 hours.
Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and punch down and knead for five minutes or until the dough is nice and elastic in texture.
With a knife or pastry cutter, cut the dough into half and let one half rest under the large bowl. With the dough that is in the open, divide it into either three or six pieces. Roll each piece into a rope making sure that they are all about the same length. Pinch one end of the ropes together and braid. Place this braided loaf onto a large cookie sheet that has parchment paper placed onto it.
Do the same with the other half of dough that has been resting.
Spray a large rectangle of wax paper with cooking spray and place the sprayed side down over the braided loaves and place in a warm oven to rise for an additional 45 minutes.
Mix one egg in a small bowl with a fork and add about one teaspoon of water to the beaten egg. With a pastry brush, lightly “paint” the egg wash over the challout. If desired, now is the time to sprinkle sesame seeds or poppy seeds over the challout.
Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake the challout for aoubt 32 minutes or until the loaves sound hallow when lightly touched with your finger nail.
Allow challout to cool slightly before eaten as the flovour of the bread will not be at its peake right from the oven. At this point, you can place each challah into a plastic bag and placing it into your freezer. Editor’s note, you may also freeze the challah when it has been braided and not risen for the second time. When ready to bake the frozen challah, take from the freezer and place onto your counter top until the loaf is room temperature and has risen (about 1 1/2 hours), then bake.