October 24, 2013

Challah 2 Ways

There's something about the smell of fresh bread baking especially when it's homemade challah!  And I must say, this most recent batch is probably the best challah I have ever made! My boyfriend and I were hovering over the Sesame Seed Loaf just waiting to dig in and when we cut into it, we indulged in several pieces each!  Super savory with its light and fluffy texture.  While the Cinnamon Raisin Challah was quite the opposite with the right amount of sweetness - perfect for French toast!

Cinnamon Raisin & Sesame Seed Challah
Makes 2 Large Loafs
Bread Ingredients
  • 2 packages quick-rise yeast
  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 1 T salt
  • 1/4 cup and 2 T sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 cups bread flour
Egg Wash Ingredients
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 t vanilla extract
  • 1 T sesame seeds
Cinnamon Raisin Filling Ingredients
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  1. In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water and gently stir to moisten the yeast
  2. Stir in the salt, sugar, butter, eggs and beat well
  3. Gradually add in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough becomes slightly tacky
  4. If using a mixer with a bread hook, attach the hook and knead on medium speed until smooth and elastic; about 8-10 minutes (or turn the bread out onto a floured surface and knead by hand)
  5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside
  6. Roll the dough into a large ball and cut it in half; place 1 aside
  7. With 1 of the dough balls, cut it into 3 equal pieces
  8. Roll out the pieces into 3 equal length ropes
  9. Place the ropes onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet and braid them; make sure the ends are nicely stuck together
  10. Place that loaf in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size; about 1 to 1 1/2 hours
  11. With the second dough ball, roll the dough out into a large rectangle and transfer the dough to the parchment lined baking sheet
  12. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon, sugar, and raisins
  13. Leaving a 1” border around all edges sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture onto the open surface
  14. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll and place with the other loaf to rise
  15. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  16. Whisk together the egg white and vanilla extract
  17. Brush each loaf with the egg white mixture
  18. Sprinkle the braided loaf with sesame seeds
  19. Bake for about 30 minutes; until the bread is golden brown
  20. Let cool before slicing

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