This challah recipe was given to me by my dear friend Abigail, a literal ray of sunshine. It’s the first bread I learned to make and still one of my favorites. The recipe makes two big loaves.
For this weekend’s co-op brunch, I turned one loaf into a French toast bake. I made the second half of the dough into the mini loaves in the picture above. I braided them with a v simple date paste, ending up with a challah-cinnoman roll hybrid. You can find the recipe for the French toast bake and the date paste here.
Challah A La Abigail:
- 2 1/2 cups water (warm, like a bath for a baby)
- 2 tbsp yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/4 cup oil
- 8-9 cups flour
- Place warm water in a bowl and add yeast. Let stand 5 minutes, until foamy.
- Add sugar, 2 eggs, salt, and oil. Whisk until sugar is all dissolved.
- Add flour 1 cup at a time, until dough is forming a ball.
- Spread flour on a clean surface. Coat hands with flour. Knead dough 5-10 minutes, until it is elastic but not tough.
- Oil bowl and return dough to bowl. Cover with a dish cloth and let rise 1 1/2- 2 hours, until dough is doubled in size. (This is a great time to make your date paste, if you’re going that route!)
- Punch dough down (just what it sounds like). Divide it in half and knead each half 5 minutes. If you are adding date paste, knead it in now. Make sure the paste is TOTALLY cool! Your hands will thank you.
- Divide each half into three balls. Use hands to roll these into long strips. Braid 3 strips together to make one loaf. Repeat with the second set of strips.
- Cover and let rise another 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Beat the final egg with a teaspoon of water and brush loaves. Bake 35-45 minutes, until your home smells like yeast and magic and the loaves are golden brown.