From the Kitchen of The Pearl of Seneca Lake B & B
When our daughter first brought home our soon-to-be son-in-law, I made this bread to impress him and later his parents. They loved it and I realized that I had discovered a wonderful new bread perfect for French toast. We believe that this bread is one of the best kept secrets of the Jewish people.
Challah Bread Recipe
Using a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water (about 110 deg) and then beat in the honey, oil, eggs and salt.
2 ½ cups warm water
1 tbsp active dry yeast
½ cup honey
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs (+ 1 egg to brush the top)
1 tbsp salt
Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, adding more flour or water as needed.
8 cups unbleached all purpose flour (you can also use bread flour)
Knead by hand about 5 min or knead with a mixer for 8 min. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise about 1 ½ hours until the dough has doubled in size.
Punch down and let the dough rest a few minutes. Divide in half.
To make the braids:
Using one of the halves, separate about 1/3 of the dough and set aside for the top braid. Divide the remaining dough into thirds and roll into a “long snake”.Pinch the ends of the 3 snakes together and braid together pinching the other end together. Do the same with the set aside dough – roll 3 pieces in long snakes and braid together. Place the small braided dough on top of the larger dough and pinch the ends slightly. Repeat with the other half of dough. Place both loaves onto a greased baking sheet, cover, and let rise about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 deg.
Brush the top of the loaves with 1 beaten egg
Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the inside temp of the bread is 205 deg. Cool on rack for at least one hour before slicing.