Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fresh, homemade Challah!

I love homemade bread.  Who doesn't?!  I've never been very good at making it, even though I've tried all kinds of recipes.  When I was in high school, I discovered James Beard's Challah recipe and from the first time I made it, it was perfect!  It has always been my favorite homemade bread recipe!

Here is Mr. Beard's recipe:

3 pkgs of yeast (I use 1 1/2 tbs)
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs salt (I used 1/2 tbs)
3 tbs softened butter
3 eggs
5 cups flour
1 egg yolk

Proof yeast in warm water in a large bowl.  Add the sugar, salt, butter, eggs, and flour, one cup at a time.  Beat thoroughly with a wooden spoon or with the hands.  Gradually add more flour until the dough is very stiff.  Turn the dough out on a board sprinkled with flour.  Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, apporx. 10 min.

Place the dough in a very large buttered bowl, and turn to coat the surface with butter.  Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1.5-2 hrs.  Punch the dough down and divide into six equal parts.  Roll each portion into a rope about 1 inch in diameter.  Braid three ropes together to make 2 loaves and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in bulk.  Brush the tops with egg.  Bake in a preheated oven for 400 degrees for 30 minutes.