What I Did During Snowzilla, Part IV: Four-Strand Braided Challah

Challah has long been on my list of baking projects that I planned to get to some day. Snowzilla presented the perfect opportunity to finally cross it off the list.

I used a recipe from King Arthur Flour. While the recipe is written to include a starter, it also includes a note that it can be made as a straight dough if you use SAF Gold instant yeast, which is intended for use in sweet bread. I have SAF Gold, so I just dumped all of the ingredients (flour, water, yeast, salt, sugar, oil, eggs, and an egg yolk) into a mixing bowl and kneaded it in my Kitchenaid mixer with a dough hook until it was smooth. I let the dough rise and then divided it into four parts.

I shaped each piece of dough into a long strip about 18 inches long and then braided the strips together. I brushed the loaf with some thinned egg white mixed with sugar, let it rise, brushed it with another coating of egg white glaze, and put it in the oven to bake. The loaf was pretty big -- I had to place it diagonally on a half sheet baking pan and it just barely fit. The bread developed a gorgeous, shiny, dark brown crust.
I thought this bread was terrific. The texture was light but the bread was rich and reminded me of brioche. I preferred it toasted with strawberry jam, but this bread would be lovely in any number of applications -- French toast, sandwiches, tartines, or a dinner side.
I'm interested in making challah in different shapes and with different add-ins, but I couldn't be more pleased with the way that this first attempt came out.

Recipe: "Four-Strand Braided Challah" from King Arthur Flour.

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Louise said…
All of your yeasted baked goods look great. I did a little baking during snowzilla, but nothing close to you. My back was killing me after running the snow blower all day for a couple of days. My neighborhood has changed in the past two years. The old neighbors used to bring out the coffee pot for me, but the new ones just put down their garage doors and hide inside. :-(