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Braided Bread

Braiding a challah whether it's three strand, four strand, or even six strand is truly the only part in the entire recipe that's slightly...

Braiding a challah whether it's three strand, four strand, or even six strand is truly the only part in the entire recipe that's slightly challenging. The rest of it is surprisingly easy. All the more reason to bake your own to have on hand for the best french toasts of all time, epic grilled cheeses, or whatever you like to use challah for.


EQUIPMENT:


INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 1/4 cup (515g) bread flour

  • 2 whole eggs (100g)

  • 4 egg yolks (67g)

  • 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp (102g) water @90-95F or 32-35C

  • 3.5 tbsp (78g) honey

  • 1/4 cup (60g) vegetable oil like sunflower

  • 1 Tbsp (16g) fine sea salt *you can reduce this amount if you don't like the loaf as salty*

  • 2 tsp (6g) instant yeast


Egg Wash Ingredients:

  • 1 egg

  • 1 Tbsp of water


INSTRUCTIONS:

Braiding A Four Strand Challah:

  • Start by labeling your strands A,B,C, and D from left to right with the open part facing you. move A to the center, C to the far left, D to the center, B to the far right, C between A and D, and A to the far left, B in between C and D, D to the far right, you're back in your beginning position, just repeat what you just did until there isn't enough room to continue doing so, then bring the edges together and pinch together. Lightly fold 1/4 inch of the edges under the loaf to ensure they don't come undone.


Method:

  1. Start off by mixing instant yeast with water warmed to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Give a little mix until dissolved, and let it sit for 5-8 minutes.

  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together bread flour and fine sea salt. Transfer to a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook; and with your mixer on low speed, add in your yeast mixture along with honey.

  3. Toss in the remainder of your ingredients - 2 whole eggs, 4 egg yolks and vegetable oil. Mix on medium-low speed, scraping the sides if necessary for 4-6 minutes.

  4. Lightly grease a medium sized bowl and shape your dough into a ball by gently tucking the bottom into itself and rolling it onto a work surface. Place your taut ball in your bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let sit at about 76 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour.

  5. Once that hour is up, perform some light stretch and folds by grabbing one edge and folding it over to the middle; repeating all the way around the dough. Then, pick up your dough and flip it over seam side down. Cover and let it rest again for one more hour.

  6. After that hour has passed, remove your dough from the bowl and divide it into 4 pieces; each weighing about 232 grams.

  7. Take each piece and shape it into a rough rectangle that’s relatively even. Fold the top part of the rectangle to the middle and repeat with the bottom; overlapping the top. Gently seal it and lightly conform to an even tube shape. Repeat with all of your remaining dough, cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

  8. Once they’ve rested, dust a work surface with flour and gently roll out your dough into 13-14 inch strands; starting from the middle and working your way out to taper off the edges.

  9. Take your 4 strands and meet them all at one point from the end facing farthest away from you. Conjoin all of those strands together.

  10. *See above for a guide on braiding your loaves.*

  11. When you’re done braiding, pinch all of the edges together and push that edge underneath the loaf.

  12. On a baking sheet, spray on some cooking oil and then place down parchment paper. Place your braided loaf on the baking sheet and brush with egg wash. Once done, place in an oven that’s turned off with the light on. Let it rise for 2 hours. During this time, brush the loaf every 40 minutes with egg wash.

    1. To test and see if the loaf is done proofing; dip your finger in egg wash and poke the loaf. If it springs back easily, it’s ready to bake; if not, it needs to proof more.

  13. Set your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and brush your loaf one last time with egg wash. Place your loaf in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 325 and bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.

14 comentários


Bindu Uppal
Bindu Uppal
19 de dez. de 2023

Braiding was the most difficult part so I kinda winged it. It tastes amazing, don’t know if it was supposed to be that big, but mine was the size of a 30 pound turkey !!

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akmal.hadi20
05 de abr. de 2023

How many servings does this recipe make?


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Lala hathaway
Lala hathaway
04 de jan. de 2023

So I took the advice from another commenter and brought the video up on my phone and then just flipped my phone around so I could follow the braiding technique. I also clicked on the Youtube video settings (gear icon) and slowed the video down to half (.5 speed) that way I could get it down. Looks good! Can't wait until it's ready to bake and eat. Edit: It's delicious. I also had to add more water to the dough. Maybe a couple more teaspoons. I had some issues with the end of the braid sticking together but everyone loves it! Thanks Joshua!


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Edward Levitan
05 de out. de 2022

Josh, this challah is the best. How would you change it to use sourdough starter instead of IDY?


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Nimrod Korda
Nimrod Korda
25 de set. de 2022

Great recipe! I read a few comments about difficulties in making the braids, my suggestion: separate out the dough to four strands and roughly shape them to a cylinder form. Let the dough rest for 20 min or so before doing the final shaping. The time will allow the dough to relax and make a lot easier to shape.

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