Today is my 1 year blogiversary! It's crazy how time flies and how much I've learned this past year. I didn't even know how to work a DSLR or how to start a website a year ago. I created Bread Babe as a hobby and there were moments where I would get lazy and stop posting for months at a time, but I think it's safe to say that I am completely obsessed with food blogging now. I can't see myself going a week without wanting to share a new recipe or take pretty photos of things I make. I'm also so thankful for my supportive husband, who has gained 10 pounds from being my taste tester. He's the best cheerleader ever!
For this special day, I decided to make not only a delicious bread, but something that's also beautiful to look at. Challah bread has a pillowy soft interior that's slightly sweet and it's exterior glows from the double egg wash. It's actually quite easy to make and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry and fridge. The braid looks complicated, but it's so simple and the pictures I posted below will help guide you through it.
I had some dough leftover from the braid, so I made buns out of them for our burgers tonight. They were delicious toasted! If you happen to have leftover bread the next day, challah makes for the most amazing french toast or bread pudding.
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 tsp plus 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs, divided
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- In a stand mixer bowl, mix together yeast, 2 tsp sugar, and warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes for yeast to activate.
- Mix in vegetable oil, 2 eggs, egg yolk, remaining sugar, and salt.
- Add in 2 cups of flour and mix on medium speed with your hook attachment until the flour is incorporated. Add in the remaining 2 cups of flour 1/2 cup at a time. Mix on medium speed for 5 minutes. The dough will be elastic, but shouldn't stick to your fingers. If your dough is too sticky, add flour 1 tbsp at a time until you get the correct consistency.
- Transfer dough to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. After 1 hour, punch the dough down and let it rise again for another 1 1/2 hours.
- Punch the dough down and create 6 equal size pieces. The best way to do this is to weigh it with a kitchen scale, so they are all the same size. If you don't have a kitchen scale, just eye it!
- Create 6 equal-size strands. Lay the six strands side by side, pinch them together so they are connected at the top.
- Take the strand furthest to the right and weave it towards the left through the other strands using this pattern: over 2 strands, under 1 strand, over 2 strands.
- Take the strand furthest to the right and repeat the pattern again: over 2 strands, under 1 strand, over 2 strands.
- Continue this pattern until the strands become too short to repeat. Pinch the ends of the strands together and tuck them under on both ends of the loaf.
- Mix the remaining egg with 1 tbsp water to make a egg wash. Brush the challah with the egg wash and let sit for 45 minutes. Keep the remaining egg wash to give it another coat before you bake it.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and give it a second egg wash. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until outside is deeply browned.