This very complex looking challah is a traditional loaf eaten in the Jewish community on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. It has been shared with us by Sophia Handschuh the Thermomix Baking Blogger from her book Homebaked. It is fluffy, tastes absolutely delightful and is much easier to prepare than it looks. Once you get the hang of braiding the loaf you'll find it's simple and quick but it looks so effective when it's finished that people will think it took ages! Check out the bottom of the recipe for handy freezer tips.
Recipe Tester Feedback: "I was a little skeptical that I could successfully freeze dough and then cook that dough from frozen and still have soft fluffy bread; but I was pleasantly surprised to find the challah not only looked great but it tasted good as well. What a great little trick to have up your sleeve for when you have unexpected guests drop in, just pop this in the oven and you'll have it on the table in front of your impressed guests in no time." - Sue
Contains: Gluten / Dairy / Egg
Preparation Time 2 hours 30 minutes, including rising time
Cooking Time 30-35 minutes
Can be frozen
- milk - 220g
- caster sugar - 80g
- yeast - 1 tbsp, dry, active
- butter - 80g, unsalted, in small chunks
- plain flour - 500g, or cake flour, plus extra for dusting
- salt - 1/2 tsp
- egg - 1
- egg yolk - 1
- Place the milk (220g), caster sugar (80g) and yeast (1 Tbsp) in the bowl. Program 2 minutes / 37C / Speed 2.
- Add the butter (80g), flour (500g), salt (1/2 tsp) and egg (1). Program 2 minutes / Closed Lid / Kneading Function. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and leave to rise until doubled in size (1-2 hours).
- Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using a dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. You can weigh each piece on top of the lid of the mixing bowl. Roll each piece into a ball and leave covered with a tea towel to rest on the bench for another 15 minutes.
- Line a large rectangular baking tray with baking paper.
- To make the braid, roll each ball into a long strand about 45-50cm length. Place the strands next to each other in a row. Fold the strand furthest to the right over to the left in this pattern, 2x over, 1x under, 2x over. Repeat this until you are at the end. Tuck the ends under and place on the prepared baking tray. Leave covered with a tea towel to rest for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190C.
- Place the egg yolk (1) in a small bowl and whisk with a fork. Brush it over the challah with a pastry brush and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until it is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
- Transfer onto a wire cooling rack and leave to cool entirely.
- Want fresh bread from the freezer? Freeze the braid after Step 5 and bake from frozen. Do the egg wash before baking at 190C for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped.