Challah; Braided Egg Bread

This post was originally made in 2009.  It was my first time making Braided Egg Braid and of course it was NOT my last.  The bread was an instant hit and i’ve been making it faithfully ever since.  Follow me on my journey into yummy-delicious-bread-land 🙂Recently I’ve been on this bread making mission. I’ve always wanted to make home bake bread but felt I needed a bread machine to do it. I guess I had it in my mind that making bread was this super complicated process that you could only do with your grandmother in the kitchen giving you EXACT instruction.

Well I finally decided to try my hand at it. And frankly, I think I’m addicted. LOL. This bread is only 1 of several I’ve made over the past week. I did this one last because the recipe seemed more complicated and I didn’t want to mess it up. It turned out YUMMY and didn’t last 24 hours after it had been taking from the oven. *chuckle*

Ingredients

*altho the recipe calls for egg substitutes and fat-free milk I decided to use a REAL egg and whole milk seeing as it’s healthier for you*

1  1/2 cups  milk
2 (1/4 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
5  1/2 cups   all purpose flour
1 tsp   salt
1/4 cup   shortening
1/2 cup egg  (I used an egg yolk I had already and added whole milk)
1 egg  yolk
1/2 cup  honey
All purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees (this step is important as the dough will rise in the warm oven)

Heat 1  1/2 cup milk on low (do not boil) until heated. Stir in yeast and let stand 5 minutes or until yeast is active.

Combine 5  1/2 cups flour and salt in a large bowl; stir in yeast mixture. Add shortening and next 3 ingredients. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes. Beat at medium speed 5 minutes. (I used my stand mixer to mix all the ingredients).

Sprinkle dough with additional flour and remove from bowl. (Dough will be very sticky.) Place dough in a highly greased bowl, turning to grease top. (I lightly kneaded the dough during this step so it was a little smoother). Turn off oven. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise in oven 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk. (Typically it’s way more than 30 minutes. An hour to an hour and a half is more realistic). Remove from oven. Remove and discard plastic wrap.

Punch dough down, and divide in half. Divide each half into 3 equal portions. Roll each portion into a 14-inch long rope; pinch 3 ropes together at one end to seal, and braid. Repeat with remaining dough portions. Place braids on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Cover braids with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 25 to 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Brush evenly with beaten egg; sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden. (a wooden tooth pick should come out clean).

 

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