My contribution to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner this year was roasted rosemary butternut squash and a giant loaf of homemade challah bread.
If you’ve never made homemade bread before, you should make challah bread. It is very forgiving and misleadingly impressive. Oh, and superbly delicious. Cannot forget that little detail!
I have shared a whole wheat version of this recipe (as seen below) in the very early days of this blog. This time around the lighting was a little better and I am a little more experienced with taking pictures. (Key word: LITTLE)
This time around, I was at my parents’ house, and they do not share my love for whole wheat flour. So, this loaf was made from all-purpose flour. The only difference is that I had to increase the amount of flour by 1/2-3/4 cup.
The original is from this site.
3/4 c warm water, divided
1/8 c + 1 tsp sugar, divided
1 Tbsp rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c whole-wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/8 c honey
1/3 c canola oil
2 eggs, plus one yolk for eggwash, if desired
Combine 1/2 c lukewarm water, 1 tsp sugar, and yeast in a small bowl. [Note: If you’ve never proofed yeast before, then be warned–it will foam up. Note: If you’ve never proofed this much yeast, then be warned–it will foam up A LOT.] In a separate bowl, sift together flours, salt, and remaining 1/8 c sugar. In a third bowl whisk eggs, oil, and honey. Once the yeast has proofed for 5 minutes, add it to the flour mixture, and immediately add the egg-oil-honey mixture also. Stir together just until combined. Scrape contents out onto a floured surface and knead for about 7 minutes. [Note: Some breads get tough if kneaded too long–this is not one of those breads.] Place kneaded dough in a covered, oiled bowl and leave to rise for 2 and a half hours. [Note: Covering the bowl is necessary so that the bread does not dry out on top and cause a premature crust. For a stove-top oven, I like to turn the oven on the lowest setting, let it get up to temperature, then turn it off before I set the bowl of dough on top of the stove. For an in-wall oven, I do the same thing, except when I turn off the temperature, I place the bowl in the oven, but leave the door slightly open.]
After approximately 2.5 hours, the dough will have doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 375oF. Knead the dough for 30 seconds, and separate into three equal pieces. Gently stretch each piece into a strand approximately a foot long. Braid the strands together. Brush the top of the bread completely with eggwash, and then bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the crust is dark brown on top and the loaf has a hollow sound when tapped.