Updated: Nov 11, 2019
This challah bread recipe was presented by Chef Elijah Gentry in a Challah Workshop in January 2017.
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 Tbl dry active yeast
1/2 cup honey
3 eggs + 1 yolk
4 Tbl salt
1 cup dry milk
4 Tbl oil
11 cups bread flour
Technique (norwegian sponge method):
Combine in a metal bowl the water, yeast, and 1 Tbl of the honey; whisk and let sit 10 mins.
Once the yeast is foamy add the rest of the honey, the dry milk, and the eggs. Whisk together well.
Add 4 cups of the flour and beat with a paddle attachment until smooth, approximately 2-3 mins on low. It should have the consistency of thick pancake batter. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 mins.
Once risen, add the oil and salt, and beat in evenly. Then add the rest of the flour and knead with the dough hook attachment for approximately 10 mins on low. Dough should be soft and a bit sticky, but pliable. And should be dark golden in color.
Cover and let rise 1 hour until doubled in size.
Punch down dough and knead lightly with hands. Cover and put in refrigerator for minimum 24 hours. 48 is better.
Recipe will yield approximately enough dough for 2 medium sized triple braids, or 1 massive 5 strand braid.
Once strands have been braided, place on oiled and cornmealed sheet trays. Cover and let rise 45 mins to 1 hour. Brush with egg wash(1egg yolk to 1 Tbl water to 1 tbls sugar) and bake at 375 for 25 to 35 mins, depending on braid style and size.