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Challah Bread

Posted By admin On April 3, 2012 @ 9:56 pm In Breads,Holiday Recipes,Yeast Breads | No Comments

2 pkgs. Yeast
1 3/4 c. Warm Water, 105-115°F.
1/2 c. Honey
1/2 c. Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil
5 Eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp. Salt
8 to 8 1/2 c. Bread Flour
1/2 c. Regular or White Raisins,optional. plumped in hot water and drained
Poppy or Sesame Seeds for topping

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast with honey.
Mix in oil.
Beat in 4 eggs, one at a time.
Add salt.
Mix in flour until incorporated and a stiff dough is formed.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface.
Knead dough until smooth.
Place dough into a large mixing bowl that has been oiled.
Cover and let rise 1 hour until almost doubled.
Punch dough down and let rise a second time for 30 minutes.
At this point dough may be covered and refrigerated over night until ready to bake off.
The third rising will enhance flavor of bread.
If dough has been refrigerated let it sit until dough returns to room temperature.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
If using raisins knead them into dough at this time.
Divide dough into 12 portions and shape into balls.
Roll each ball of dough into a 12″ long rope.
Place 6 ropes next to one another in center of a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Pinch top of dough ropes to hold together.
Move the outside right rope over 2 ropes.
Next take the second rope from the left and move it to the far right.
Take the outside left rope and move it over 2.
Next move the second rope from the right over to the far left.
Start over with the outside right rope.
Continue until all ropes are braided.
Tuck ends underneath to seal.
Repeat procedure for second loaf.
Beat remaining egg with 1 tsp. water.
Brush egg wash over loaves.
Let rise 1 hour.
Brush loaves with remaining egg wash.
Sprinkle top of loaves with sesame or poppy seeds or leave plain.
Bake 35-40 minutes at 375°F. until golden brown.

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