I love making challah bread. It is a traditional Jewish Sabbath bread that is braided. I like to make it for special occasions and as a treat, my family loves it. A couple of years ago I learned how to make a 6 braid challah loaf. I think they are much prettier than the 3 braid. I made some this afternoon and took some pictures to try and show how it is done.. I hope it makes sense!!
1/3 cup warm water
2 T yeast
1 ½ cups warm water
¼ cup butter
¼ cup olive oil
1 T salt
½ cup cane juice crystals
5 to 6 cups whole wheat flour
2 to 3 cups white flour
In a small measuring cup combine the 1/3 cup warm water and 2T yeast. Let that sit to foam up a little. In a large mixer bowl combine 1 ½ cups warm water, butter, olive oil, salt and cane juice crystals. Mix for a few minutes. Add eggs and mix well. Add yeast and water mixture.
Add flour wheat and white flours starting with the smallest measurements. Mix until well combined. Add more flour (a little at a time) if needed so there is no dough sticking to the sides of mixer bowl and the dough is not sticky, but not too stiff.
Knead for 7 to 10 minutes in a Kitchen Aid or 4 to 5 minutes in a Bosch. Let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes to an hour.
Punch down and divide into 3 pieces.
To make challah loaves you can do a 3 braid or a 6 braid. Three braid challah is easy.. Roll one of the loaves of dough into three ropes and lay them out side by side. Pinch the ends at the top and then braid (just like hair! ~smile~) and pinch at the bottom.
To make a 6 braid challah is a bit more tricky to try and explain but is my most favorite way to do it. If my directions make no sense then maybe next time I will have to have one my daughters do a quick video of me doing it and show you that way!!
Make a log from one of the loaves of dough.
Divide into 6 pieces.
Roll each piece into a long rope. Lay them side by side.
Bring all 6 pieces together at the top and pinch the dough to hold it altogether.
Now.. take the rope on the very right side and lay it across and over the top to the other side..
Now take the left piece and lay it across and over the loaf so it is on the other side..
This leaves you with 4 pieces in the middle. Take the piece of dough that you first crossed over (this would be the one that is now on the left) and bring it down in between the 4 ropes.
Now take the rope that is on the right side and cross it over as you did before leaving 4 ropes in the center again.
Now take the rope on the right side and bring it down in between the 4 ropes in the center.
Take the rope on the left and cross it over to the right.
Bring the rope on the left in between the center 4 ropes and just repeat this process until you to the end of your dough ropes. Pinch the ends together. I tuck in the pinched ends of the loaf so they don’t show.. just makes it looks nicer!
Lay the loaf on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non stick spray and finish the other two loaves..
Let them rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to an hour. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.