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Classic Challah Bread Recipe

Hey it’s almost Friday! Which means it’s time for a classic Challah bread recipe. Check out this recipe that came from our friend, Abi in West Chester, New York. This recipe has been passed down from her mom, Halina and is the perfect addition to a Friday night dinner at home. 

Halina’s Classic Challah Bread Recipe

Ingredients:
5 – 6 cups bread (or all-purpose) flour
1 tsp salt
¼ – ½ cup sugar (your choice how much)
2 pkgs rapid-rise yeast (I buy yeast by the jar)
1 ½ cups water
4 tbsp shortening (I use butter; more is fine)
3 eggs

Instructions:
-Place 5 cups of flour, the salt, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer.
-Heat the water to about 130° F and stir in the shortening; beat in 2 eggs. If the liquid temperature drops below 120°, warm it a little. Add liquid all at once to the flour mixture.
-Mix the flour and liquid together thoroughly, then knead for 8 – 10 minutes, adding more flour – probably no more than 1 cup total – until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticky.
-Let the dough rest, covered with a towel, for about 15 minutes.
-Divide the dough into two balls. Make 3 or more equal ropes out of each ball and braid. (I usually do 2 braids per ball of dough, making the 2nd braid much smaller and laying it across the top of the first, larger, braid.)
-Line a cookie sheet with parchment and place the braided breads on it, leaving room between them.
-Cover with a towel and allow to rise until about doubled in size.
-Preheat the oven to 350°. Beat the 3rd egg; add a little bit of water, if you wish.
-When the bread has risen sufficiently, paint each loaf with the beaten egg wash, sprinkle with seeds (optional), and place in the oven.
-Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, reversing the sheet about halfway through to ensure even browning. Check if they’re done by knocking on the bottom of each loaf. They should sound hollow.

My tweak is that I double the shortening. I’ve made this with honey and sugar, too! Leave a comment to let us know if you tried out this challah bread recipe!