Challah Bread

My mother-in-law Lorraine has a heart for the Jewish people and is fascinated with Jewish foods and customs. She taught me how to make this decadent bread when I was still a bride. You don’t need a mixer for this recipe, just a lot of love.

Ingredients

2 tbsp butter
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tbsp yeast
1 tbsp honey
2 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
5 large eggs (divided)
1 stick butter
6 1/2 c flour

Directions

Whisk yeast into water, and add a pinch of sugar. Let rest until yeast is creamy (approx. 5 minutes). Heat milk and butter to 110 degrees. Remove from heat. Add sugar, honey, and salt. Stir until dissolved. Add yeast to milk mixture, and then add four beaten eggs. Pour into a mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, begin to mix in a ½ cup of flour at a time stopping when you have a dough that cleans the sides of the bowl and is difficult to stir. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic. Put into a greased bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place 1 to 1 ½ hours until doubled. Deflate dough and separate into two equal halves. Cover one half of dough as you work with the other. Divide dough into 3 12” strips and braid. Let rise 40 minutes. Do the same with the other half of the dough.

Toppings:

1 beaten egg
1 tbsp water
Sesame, poppy, or caraway seeds
Kosher salt

Brush loaves with egg wash. Let set for 5 minutes. Brush again and sprinkle with salt or seeds.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes then brush again with egg wash. Bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy.