Challah!

Challah!

You know.. that twisted bread; soft on the inside, sweet, fluffy and delicious? Well if you don't, now you do and this bad-boy is a staple at every party I throw - it's required in fact and if it isn't there, I'm in trouble. This fun bread is easier to make than it looks and quite rewarding. A couple rises are needed so give yourself some time to make this yummy treat. No fancy materials required, just a bowl and a good old baking sheet.


Ingredients
670g flour
10 oz warm water
4 tbs sugar
2 eggs
1/4 vegetable oil
1 tbs active dry yeast
1 tbs salt
sesame seeds and fleur du cil

Procedure
Mix 200g of the flour with the water, sugar and yeast, let rest for 10 minutes in a bowl. Add the eggs, oil, salt and combine until a shaggy dough forms. Slowly add the rest of the flour to incorporate evenly. A sticky dough will form, remove the dough to a lightly floured board and knead. Do not add more flour except to dust your hands and keep the dough off the board.

Clean the bowl, oil it and place the solid but very tacky dough ball in it, cover and let rise until doubled. I like to do this overnight (12 hours) in the fridge for a little more complex flavor.

Gently remove the air bubbles from the dough and reform in to a ball, recover and let rise again until doubled.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down the dough again, cut it into 3 even pieces (6 if you want to make to loafs) and roll them into logs that are about 12-14 inches long. Braid the logs and pinch the ends so it looks like this:


Let rise for another hour under loose plastic wrap then lightly brush the surface with egg wash and sprinkle with salt and sesame seeds. Bake at 350 F for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.

Don't over cook this sucker and make sure the center is just at 200-205 F! Let cool for 30 minutes or more before cutting. Serve warm, cold or toasted and covered in jam! This bread pairs with literally everything; cheese, butter, cured fish, you name it. It also makes a mean egg sandwich the next day - when you toast this bread it gets amazingly flaky too!