Monday, January 3, 2011

Bread Machine Challah Bread

You may or may not have heard of challah bread. This is an eggy, dense bread that is great for french bread, bread pudding, sandwiches, or just eating by itself. Normally, challah bread can take days to make (not really days but it seems like it) by the time you let it rise and fall and rise and fall and rise and fall... (you get the picture).

This recipe is so simple and takes virtually no time and no kneading! If you are looking for a good bread to make that will really wow you friends and family, look no further! I can't wait for the french toast tomorrow morning :)!

1 cup warm water
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs, room temperature
4 1/2 cups bread flour (if your bread machine can't hold that much bread flour, just cut the recipe in half)
2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water

1. Place warm water, sugar, honey, vegetable oil, salt, 2 eggs, flour, and yeast in the pan of a the bread machine (in the order recommended by the manufacturer). Select the dough cycle and press start.
2. After the machine is done, take the dough out, and place it on a lightly floured board. Punch the dough down, and let rest for 5 minutes.
3. Divide the dough in half.
4. Divide each half into 3 equal pieces and roll into ropes about 12 - 14 inches in length. Press the three ropes together at the top and braid the dough (just as you would hair).
5. Repeat step 4 with the other half of the dough.
6. Gently put the loaves on a greased cookie sheet, mist with water, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for about 1 1/2 hours in a warm, draft free place, until the dough doubles in size.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 10 minutes.
8. In a small bowl, beat together 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush the egg mixture on the partially cooked bread and return to the oven for another 10 minutes (give or take a few depending on your desired doneness).

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