Challah bread is a traditional Jewish egg bread. Most of the time it is a braided bread, but you don’t have to braid it. There are a lot of eggs in this bread, that provides two things. First, a fuller richer flavor, and second a longer shelf life. I have left this bread out for as long as a week. When I say out, I mean uncovered. The presence of the eggs also help giving the bread a golden brown color.
This recipe is for two 1 pound 8 ounce loaves
1 ounce fresh compressed yeast
1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 ounce of vanilla sugar (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon of salt
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks (save the whites to wash the bread)
1 pound 8 ounces of bread flour
1/3 cup of olive oil
Split four whole Vanilla Beans and put them in the tall canister. Fill canister with sugar. Shake once a day for two weeks. There is no rule as to much vanilla you use. The rule of thumb is the more flavor you want the more bean you use.
- Dissolve the yeast in the cold milk ( I do this in my mixing bowl if using my mixer)
- add the vanilla, vanilla sugar, whole eggs, and egg yolks; whisk until blended.
- Mix in all but a few handfuls of flour using the dough hook.
- add the olive oil and and knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Add flour as needed to get a the right consistency
- Cover and let rise until it has doubled in volume.
- Punch down dough. Cover and let it rise again until it has doubled in volume.
- Punch down the dough again. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (usually about 8 ounce).
- Roll each piece into a string, about 10 to 12 inches long.
- Use three pieces to braid each loaf. Instruction on braiding in the video
- transfer the loaves to a sheet pan and let them rise until they are 1 and a 1/2 times the original size. Preheat oven to 350
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. The loaves should have a deep golden brown color when they are done. The internal temperature of this bread should be 195 degrees.
- Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.