Challah Bread - 6 Braid
*I would highly recommend using the weight measurements for all breads.
4-1/8 cup (500 g) bread flour
(just under) 2/3 cup (140 g) water
(75 g) whole egg (if measuring by volume, try one extra large egg as one large egg is around 57g)
(60 g) egg yolks (around three large egg yolks)
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar or honey
(just over) 1/8 cup (38 g) vegetable oil
1 T (10 g) instant yeast
1 T (10 g) salt
Measure all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer and with dough hook, beat on low for four minutes and on medium speed for another four. Leave the dough in mixer bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours. It should rise substantially and will be smooth and easy to work with.
Divide the dough into six 114 g pieces (you’ll have a little left over which you can curl into a small roll). Roll each dough piece into a 12″ rope, let them rest for 10 minutes and then roll them out further (16″ or so). (The resting is important because the dough needs a little time to relax). Each rope should be slightly tapered at each end.
Lay your ropes on a clean counter, pull the tops together and seal them.
Each time a rope moves, it gets a new position #.
Positions are always “1” on the left to “6” on the right.
After each crossing, space the ropes again so they aren’t too jammed together.
Cross Rope 1 and Rope 6 so that Rope 6 is on top
Cross Rope 1 to Position 3
Cross Rope 5 to Position 1
Cross Rope 6 to Position 4
Cross Rope 2 to Position 6
REPEAT until braid is completed.
Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for an hour. Preheat the oven to 350°F, give the bread an egg wash and pop the baking sheet on the middle rack of oven for 20 minutes. Take it out of the oven at the 20 minute mark, give it another egg wash (focusing on the crevises), spin the sheet and return it to the oven for another 15 minutes.
Adapted from Professional Baking by Wayne Gisslen