Challah is a traditional Jewish bread, eaten on the Shabbat and other major holidays. The word "challah" itself is Biblical.
MAKES: 1 loaf
- ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp (270mL total) milk, heated to 115F (46C)
- ¼ cup plus 1 tsp (55g total) sugar
- 2 tsp (10g) active dry yeast
- 4 tbsp (60g) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 cups (480g) flour
- 1 ½ tsp (7.5g) kosher salt
- 1 egg yolk
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
1. Stir together milk, 1 tsp (5g) sugar, and yeast in a large bowl; let sit until foamy, about ten minutes.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together butter and eggs. Add to yeast mixture and stir to combine.
3. Add flour, remaining ¼ cup (50g) sugar, and salt; stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.
4. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead until smooth, 6-8 minutes.
5. Transfer to a lightly greased large bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let sit until doubled in size, about one hour.
6. Punch dough down, cover, and let sit until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes.
7. Transfer dough to a floured surface, divide into 4 equal portions, and roll each into a 16 inch (40.5cm)-long rope.
8. Braid ropes together and pinch to seal. Transfer braided rope to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise for one hour.
9. Heat oven to 375F (190C). Stir together egg yolk and 1 tbsp water in a small bowl and brush all over the surface of the loaf; sprinkle evenly with sesame seeds.
10. Bake until loaf is dark golden brown, 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes before serving.