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honey challah bread

I have been on the hunt for a yummy bread recipe for awhile.  I have tried a few crusty french breads and they turned out pretty good, but not good enough.  As I was scrolling through Pintrest, I found this neat looking braided bread and decided it looked easy enough to make.  My life right now is all about simplicity...especially with a 3 1/2 month old!
With that in mind I clicked on the picture, which took me to Melissa's yummy food blog (fried ice and donut holes) where she had a recipe for honey callah bread.  I had no idea what callah (or challah) bread was but it looked devine!  So I looked it up and found out the bread is a Jewish tradition made for the Sabbath & other holidays.  It represents when the Jews wondered in the desert for forty years & God sent them manna from the heavens.  A yummy way to remember what God had provided!  

honey challah bread

1 cup warm water
4 1/2 tsp yeast (I used active dry)
1/2 cup + 1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup honey (I did part agave)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature (I used dairy free)
3 eggs
2 tsp kosher salt
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (+more)
1 egg, beaten

-In a stand up mixer with the paddle attachment, add water
-Then sprinkle yeast & 1 tsp sugar, stir to combine
-Let sit for 5 minutes until foamy
-Then add sugar, honey, butter, 3 eggs, salt & flour & mix on low speed to incorporate all ingredients
-Then turn up speed to medium for about 5 minutes (until dough has become smooth & elastic)
-I added about 1 3/4 more flour to mine to make it a soft ball
-Next, put dough on a lightly floured surface and knead by hand about 5x
-Place dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl & cover dough with oil
-Cover with damp cloth & place in a warm, draft free spot (I used our oven) for about 2 hours or until doubled in size
-Then, gently punch down the dough & place on a lightly floured surface
-Divide dough into 3 pieces & roll into a 14 inch rope
_Pinch ends together, then loosely braid the dough, then pinch the other ends together
-Place the braided dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet & put back in the draft free area for about 45 minutes or until doubled
-Then brush the braid with the beaten egg
-Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown
-Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes then place on cooling wire rack

Seems like a lot of steps, but actually is quite easy!  I couldn't wait for the bread to cool and took a piece right away... so delish!  It had a sweet taste and was really light & fluffy.  Hope you enjoy!

Recipe adapted from fried ice & donut holes

farmers market & neighborhood walks

a year ago today