This iconic bread just got a little easier to make. One bowl, one spoon, a few days later and you have ready to braid dough. A little planning is all that this recipe really requires. The dough can be stirred together, and then left to rise, covered, in the refrigerator for a minimum of two days and a maximum of three days before braiding, rising and finally baking.
Swap option: For Rosh Hashanah, add raisins, chopped dates, figs and apricots in Step 1.
- 8 cups high-gluten bread flour, plus more
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 2 to 2¼ cups lukewarm water, 105°F
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons water
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, yeast, water, eggs, egg yolk, sugar and olive oil and stir to combine. Allow mixture to sit at room temperature for 2 hours before refrigerating for up to 3 days, but for a minimum of 2 days (the flour needs that much time to form gluten strands to give the bread texture).
2. When you are ready to make the challah, remove dough from refrigerator and braid as desired. Place braids on greased baking sheets and cover. Let rise at room temperature for 3 hours (a long rise is necessary for the dough).
3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
4. Whisk together the egg and water to make an egg wash. Brush challah with the mixture.
5. Bake for 15 minutes before rotating the pan and continuing to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when gently tapped on the bottom.