Lately, I have been reminiscing back on my youth a bit and wondering how on earth I got to be
25 28 already. Perhaps it was the time I spent last weekend living it up on Austin’s East 6th Street, (affectionately known as Dirty 6th) that made me realize I am no longer 20. But mostly, how is it not 1993 and I am not catching up on Rugrats specials on the ole VCR noshing on Fruit by the Foot? Where does the time go? When I haven’t been daydreaming of raiding fellow Jew Cher Horowitz’s closet, I have been thinking about comfort food. Nothing makes you feel better about realizing kids born in the 1990s are old enough to be in Med School than a nice dish just like Bubbe used to make it. Well, that and still getting carded. And realizing that said kids missed one of the greatest decades of music (arguably) in recent history. I know I would be half the woman I am today without Wilson Phillips and the Gin Blossoms. Anyhoo, my go to comfort food is usually Matzah Ball Soup, but with summer setting in in Texas, I went with my second favorite- challah. Now that Passover is over, onto some bread!! Challah is an eggy Jew bread traditionally served on Shabbat and holidays, or to make the best sandwiches you have ever had. I promise. Let’s get cooking, shall we?
Here is all you need to make your own challah. I gave this recipe from Epicurious a try.
Whisk in the eggs, oil, salt, honey and remaining sugar into yeast mixture until incorporated. Then add the of flour and mix into a ball. Knead until smooth, about 5-10 minutes.
Place the dough in a warm, cleaned bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough ferment until it has doubled in size, about two hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and divide your dough into two pieces. I went with a classic three strand braid, but YouTube has some fantastic tutorials if you want to try other braids. Divide one of the pieces of dough into three more pieces and roll each one out into a flat piece.
- 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)
- ¾ cup warm water (about 100 degrees)
- ¼ cup sugar (more if you like it sweet!)
- 1 large egg and 3 egg yolks, plus one for glazing
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup honey (trick, measure the honey after the oil and it will slide right out!)
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 3¾ cups bread flour
- First, prepare the yeast by mixing the yeast with warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar and whisk until smooth. Let yeast stand until it puffs up, about 10 minutes.
- Whisk in the 1 egg and 3 egg yolks, oil and remaining sugar and honey into yeast mixture until incorporated. Then add the flour a little at a time and salt and mix into a ball. Knead until smooth, about 5-10 minutes, adding more flour as needed (pun intended)
- Place the dough in a warm, cleaned bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough ferment until it has doubled in size, about two hours.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and braid as designed.
- Cover with plastic wrap and ferment another 45 minutes or so until it's light and fuffy looking (exact proofing timing for challah will depend on environmental conditions.)
- Glaze the breads with the last egg and bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.