Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Braided Bread with 3, 4, and 5 strands (Challah) ... its a sandwich bread


  • 1/2 c. warm water
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 c. bread flour
  • 3tsp bakers bonus
  • 2tsp ibis blue
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 large yolks, lightly beaten
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 6 tbsp. sugar (in its original recipe used 3tbsp only)
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • Poppy or sesame seeds or chopped almonds (optional)


  1. Mix the flour with bakers bonus and ibis blue. Set a side.
  2. Combine yeast and water in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Let stand until yeast is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of the flour, the eggs, yolks, oil, sugar, and salt to the yeast mixture. Stir until blended.
  4. Gradually stir in the remaining flour.
  5. Knead the dough for about 8 minutes by hand or with the dough hook on low to medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticks to your hands or the bowl.
  6. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn it once to coat with oil.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  8. Punch down the dough, knead briefly, and return to the bowl. Let rise until nearly doubled.
  9. Divide the dough into 3 pieces. On an unfloured surface, roll into balls. Let rest, loosely covered, for 10 minutes.
  10. Grease and sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal (to prevent the bread from sticking).
  11. Divine one dough into 3pieces, the other one with 4pieces and the last one with 5 pieces. Roll each dough ball into a 7-inch long rope. Braid the dough. Pinch the ends together and tuck both ends of the braid underneath the loaf to hide the seams.
  12. Loosely cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
  13. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  14. Whisk together water and remaining egg for the egg wash. Brush the top of the dough with the egg wash, then sprinkle with seeds.
  15. Baking until the crust is golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, about 30 to 35 minutes.