Everyone likes challah.
I found the original version to be a little dry and dense. I increased the oil and reduced the water and flour. I am reaching perfection.
The Shiksa in the Kitchen has some good braiding advice:
- 2 tsp instant or active dry yeast
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 cups bread flour
- Egg Wash:
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
- canola oil
- sesame or poppy seeds
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, combine the yeast and water. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Add 2 eggs, oil, honey, and salt until well combined. Remove the whisk and add the flour. Fit the mixer with a dough hook and mix until a ball forms. Let the machine run until the ball is smooth (about 5 minutes).
Add a few drizzles of oil to a deep glass bowl. Remove the ball of dough and roll it around in the oiled bowl. Cover with a cloth and place in a warm draft-free place to rise for 2 hours.
(If your house is drafty and cold, do what I do: preheat the oven to 200º, turn it off, and then let the dough rise inside it.)
Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Divide it depending on the number of strands in your braid. Braid the dough starting from the middle and working out.
Cover the dough and let it rise for another hour.
Preheat the oven to 350º.
Whisk the egg and water. Brush the top of the braid with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds before placing it in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes on the middle rack. Then turn the pan and bake for another 15 minutes.
(If you're making a half-loaf, bake for 25 minutes total.)
Cool before serving.