Challah Bread

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This bread knows how to shake what her momma gave her.

She’s tasty, she’s flexible, and, perhaps most importantly, she’s not afraid to show off her voluptuous curves.

Why female? Good question. It was a rather arbitrary, whilst still being a fairly well-educated, choice.

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Rationale: challah is sturdy and strong yet soft and tender, slightly sweet yet savory, and, ultimately, modest yet ultra-beautiful.

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It’s a delicious bread that is very easy to make, but it will assuredly knock the holiday-themed socks off your guests’ feet.

So you should probably afford this most-gorgeous female the opportunity to grace your table this holiday season. She’s a tasteful little chap.

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Challah Bread

Adapted from allrecipes

2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 eggs
1 tablespoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups whole wheat flour
1-2 Tbsp poppy or sesame seeds (optional)

1. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over barely warm water. Beat in honey, oil, 3 eggs, and salt. Add the flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition, graduating to kneading with hands as dough thickens. Knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed (~8-10 minutes). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled in bulk.
2. Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto floured board. If you would like to make large challahs, divide the dough in half. For a simple, three-strand, braid, divide each half into thirds and roll into long snakes about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Pinch the ends of the three snakes together firmly and braid from middle. Either leave as braid or form into a round braided loaf by bringing ends together, curving braid into a circle, pinch ends together. You could choose to get fancier and opt for a 4-strand or 6-strand braid, if you’d rather. If you would like to make smaller challah rolls, divide your original dough into 16 pieces. Divide each of the 16 pieces into thirds and braid as described above. Again, you could go with fancier braids, should that tickle your fancy.

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3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and place the finished braids on the prepared sheets. Cover with plastic wrap (or a clean towel) and let rise about one hour.

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4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
5. Beat the remaining egg and brush a generous amount over each braid. Sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds, if desired.

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6. For two large braids, bake at 375 degrees F for about 40 minutes. For 16 smaller braids, bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes. The bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.
7. Cool on a rack for at least one hour before slicing.

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