Four Braid Challah

I've been on a little Challah kick lately to which I'm putting down to drooling at the most wonderful, braided breads from Brydie and Celia.  Feeling fairly flat on the bread front (quite a tongue-twister, eh?),  it was great to get a kick of inspiration up my backside from these two lovely ladies. I do have a soft spot for challah, or 'hhhhallah' as I have heard it pronounced, with a 'h' sound starting deep in the back of ones throat. And to let you in on a little secret, I just love to make it so that I can walk around the house asking if anyone wants "another piece of .... chhhhhalllah?". :)

Four braid Challah
What I like most about this bread is that it calls for eggs, of which we have an abundance of at the moment! If you decide to give this bread a go, I hope you enjoy making it as much as I do. Full shaping instructions can be found at The Shiksa in the Kitchen , link kindly shared by Celia.

Ingredients
530g bread flour
1/4 cup sugar (raw is fine)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast
150ml lukewarm water
3 x 60g eggs, lightly whisked
1/3 cup canola or other light flavoured vegetable oil

Combine all of the ingredients and mix by hand or machine (I used machine). It can be quite sticky, so add a little extra flour if you think it needs it. Not too much though, it still needs to be soft and pliable. Knead for 10 minutes or so, until the dough springs back when pressed and place into an oiled bowl, cover and place somewhere warm until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Remove the dough and shape according to your preference.

For this dough I chose to try a four-braid. The dough was cut into four equal pieces and each piece was rolled into a long log, about 40cm long. The four log strands were pressed together at the top and then braided down the length of the loaf (see link above for full shaping instructions).

Braided and ready for 2nd rise
The loaf was then covered again and placed in a warm spot to rise again, until nearly doubled in size. While this is happening, the oven can be preheated to 180c and when the dough has risen, brushed with an eggwash of 1 egg yolk whisked with a little water.  Bake for around 30-35 minutes until a deep golden brown and the smell of chhhallah is filling your house.

Fresh from the oven - the 'stringy' bread
My daughter calls it the 'stringy bread', because of the way it forms little 'strings' when pulled apart while still warm (I'm sorry, but we're not letting this one cool down!).  Sweet enough to enjoy with honey or jam, and not too sweet that it doesn't make a great medium for holding cold meats and cheese......

Comments

  1. Wow this looks bread bought from one of those artsy bread shops.. awesome job! I am so impressed... I love the little extra richness that comes with having eggs in bread - I might just have a try at this.. your baking/bread always looks so lovely

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  2. Your hilarious! I love the imagery of you walking round the house, getting right back of your throat to ask if any one would like more chhhhhhalllah.
    I haven't made it before, but the damn braiding thing has sucked me in, need more dough to braid! I am impressed with how the sourdough plaits up though...
    Thanks for the link back too, too kind. :-)

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  3. Gosh, this looks wonderful, I'll have to give it a go!

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  4. Thanks, Wendy, the eggs do make it much more richer than regular bread. The shaping is really straightforward and the dough - well that all went into the breadmaker, so handy! :)

    The hubby is spouting it out now whenever he grabs a piece, Brydie, lol!So funny. I can see how braiding could become addictive...the rolls look like fun to try too! :)

    It's a lot of fun to make, Sue :)

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  5. I warned you braiding was addictive, didn't I? :)

    Thanks for this recipe Chris (and the shout out!), with the girls laying like mad things at the moment, we've got a lot of eggs to use up as well! Your four braid looks absolutely magnificent, all perfect and even! So...what's next? :)

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  6. You did warn me, oh yes, you did! Thanks, Celia!

    Hmmm, what's next? It would be great to try some rolls...I've read about two different methods for shaping and perhaps a circle loaf - they always look so good!:)

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  7. What a beautiful rich and tasty looking braid there! I have only made these a couple of times and am itching to have a go soon.

    Spot on with the pronounciation! Well done! That sound in the back of your throat? Just right! Hebrew/Yiddish middle European - which of course is where this bread comes from, forming as it does part of the ritual of Friday night suppers in Jewish homes all over the world.

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  8. Thanks Jo, it is proving to be quite an addictive bread. So many shaping possibilities! It's like play-doh for adults ;)

    Yay! The pronunciation is correct! It is fascinating to read of the symbolism associated with this bread! :)

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  9. Waw, Christine!! What a beautiful twisted bread!! looks truly amazing & isn't easy to make, I think!

    Lovely food!

    MMMMMMMMMMM,...Kisses to you!

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  10. Thanks for recipe. I made 4 of the loaves today for our family Sunday lunch. Just beautiful. Love your blog.

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  11. Thankyou and you're welcome! I'm happy to hear you tried this recipe :)

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  12. Pardon me but I am so naive when it comes to baking. What is 3X60 grams eggs...How much does it amount to? 3 eggs?

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  13. I am just not sure about the number of eggs needed thats all. Thanls

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  14. Three eggs, Esther, that's all! Happy baking. :)

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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