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Sweet, brioche-like bread perfect for the holidays.
Serves: 2-3 loaves
For the Challah:
  • 2¾ teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 1¼ cups 100ºF water
  • 7¼ cup bread flour
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 4 egg yolks, room temperature
  • ¼ cup + 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
For the wash:
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten,
  • pinch of salt
  1. Allow the yeast to dissolve in the 100ºF water, then let water come to room temp
  2. Combine all of the dry ingredients, then add in the eggs and liquid ingredients. Using your dough hook, mix at the lowest speed on your stand-mixer for 3 minutes, then continue to mix using the 2nd lowest speed for an additional 4 minutes. You want your dough to be smooth and elastic and cling to the side of the bowl (that's when you know it's ready).
  3. Cover the dough with a towel, and let it sit for 1 hour at room temperature, preferably in a warmer place if you're doing this in the cooler months. After 1 hour, punch down the dough to get out any built up gasses from the yeast. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate, over the next three hours punch down the dough two more times, replacing the plastic wrap both times, and then refrigerate overnight.
  4. After the dough has refrigerated, punch it down yet again until it is maleable. Do not flour your work surface for this, as you would for most dough - it should be easy enough to work with so that you don't need to do this. Divide the dough in half, then divide each half of dough into 3, 4, 5, or 6 pieces, depending on how fancy you want to get with your braiding. I did 4, but you can do 3 if this is your first time - I'd recommend going for a simple, regular braid to start.
  5. Let's say you've chosen to do 4 braids per loaf, as I did. Divide each half of dough into 4 long pieces, then cover them on your counter with a dish towel and then cover the dish towel with plastic wrat and allow them to rest for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, roll the pieces out into equal lengths with tapered edges; I did mine about 20 inches or so each. Pinch together the tops of one set of 4 ropes, and begin to braid. I used my book to guide me, but there are lots of great instructions all over the web. Braid your dough, then place on a baking sheet, lightly cover with a towel and plastic wrap and let the braids rise for 1 hour and 15 minutes or so, until almost doubled in size.
  6. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Brush your loaves with the egg wash, and bake for 10 minutes, then check on the loaves and rotate the pans. Check the loves after another 10 minutes. If they are looking good, then leave them and let them bake for another 10-15 minutes. If they look like they may be browning too quickly, go ahead and lightly cover them with aluminum foil to stop them from burning. The loaves are ready when they are a golden brown and firm to the touch.
  7. Allow the loaves to cool for 15-20 minutes, then dig in! Slather with butter, dip in olive oil, or use to mop up any sauce from your holiday meal.
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at