I'm so excited to finally share this recipe that my 12-year-old son Coleman created—Six-Strand Challah Bread. This bread is a visual delight--woven together to make two beautiful and impressive loaves. Challah is known for being a soft and fluffy textured bread, which makes it perfect for enjoying on its own or alongside any meal.
What Ingredients do I need?
- All-Purpose Flour: This general-purpose flour will help your bread achieve the ideal texture and structure.
- SAF Instant Dry Yeast: Loved by bakers, this yeast provides fast and consistent results in the fermentation process.
- White Sugar: Not only does white sugar sweeten the bread, but it plays a crucial role in yeast activation.
- Eggs: This binding ingredient will contribute to the golden hue of the bread crust.
- Extra-Light Olive Oil: If you haven't learned by now, extra-light olive oil is my favorite heart-healthy oil. The taste is very mild and won't overpower the bread.
- Warm Water: Create the ideal environment for your yeast to activate with warm --but not too hot--water.
- Salt: Regular table salt also plays a role in yeast activity and gives that savory flavor you crave in your bread.
- Sesame Seeds: These yummy seeds provide a subtle nuttiness and make a visually appealing crust.
How do I make Six-Strand Challah Bread?
First things first, grab some yeast and mix it with half a cup of warm water. You want it to get all nice and foamy while you're gathering the rest of your ingredients.
In a big mixing bowl, toss in the all-purpose flour. When your yeast and water are all bubbly, pour the mixture into the bowl, along with sugar, three eggs, the remaining 2 cups of warm water, and the extra-light olive oil. Attach the dough hook to your mixer and set it to low speed for about 2 minutes. Then, toss in the salt and keep kneading with your machine for another 5-6 minutes.
Shape the dough into a ball and then swirl it in a bowl that's got a light coating of oil. Cover the dough with a towel or plastic wrap and let it hang out in a warm spot for an hour or so, until it doubles in size.
Once your dough has done its magic, split it into two halves. Take each half and break it down into six pieces, so you end up with two loaves. Roll each piece into a long rope, about 1 inch thick, and follow Coleman's cool braiding technique shown in the video.
Get two baking sheets ready by lining them with parchment paper. Carefully place the braided loaves on the baking sheets and cover them with plastic film sprayed with cooking spray. Let them rise again for about an hour. (In the picture above, we did the rise on the cutting board, but it's safer to do the final rise directly on the pan).
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Beat the last egg and give the tops of your loaves a nice egg wash. If you're feeling fancy, sprinkle some sesame seeds on there.
Place the beautiful loaves in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the tops get that golden brown look. Just keep an eye on them – baking time can vary based on the size of your loaves. Once it's finished, we recommend eating challah bread with any of your favorite main dishes.
Six Strand Challah Bread
- 7 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon SAF instant dry yeast
- 7 tablespoon white sugar
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup 50g light olive oil
- 2 ½ cup warm water
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Combine the yeast and ½ cup of the warm water.
- Measure and pour the all-purpose flour into a large mixing bowl. When the yeast and water are foamy, add it to the bowl, along with the sugar, 3 eggs, remaining 2 cups of warm water, and oil to the bowl.
- Attach a dough hook to your mixer and knead the dough on low speed for 2 minutes. After that, add the salt and continue kneading for an additional 5-6 minutes.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for approximately one hour, or until it doubles in size.
- Once the dough has risen, divide it into two equal halves. Then take each half and divide them into 6 pieces each to make two loaves.
- Take each piece of dough and roll it into a long rope, approximately 1-inch thick. Follow the braiding technique shown in the video.
- Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Place the braided loaves on top and cover it with plastic film sprayed with cooking spray. Allow them to rise for about an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Beat the remaining egg and brush the top of the loaves with the egg. If desired, sprinkle the loaves with sesame seeds.
- Bake the challah loaves for 25-30 minutes or until the tops turn golden brown. The baking time may vary depending on the size of the loaves.