Our Favorite Challah Bread

Here at The William Henry Miller Inn, we make all of our own breads.   Our hands down favorite for French Toast is Challah—typically a rich egg bread.
This recipe is super easy.    The key, though, is to have patience.  Let this rise using all the time it says and be SURE to do that third rising.  That is the ticket to beautiful, bountiful Challah.
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup warm water
3 eggs (lightly beated)
6 cups (plus or minus) flour
4 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

Using a stand mixer, combine sugar, salt and oil.   Add warm water and yeast.   Let it stand until the yeast mixture is nice and foamy.
Add the eggs.
Add 4 1/2 cups of flour to the mixture and mix (using a dough hook) until the dough is stringy.
Add 1 or 2 cups more flour until the mixture is smooth and flour is all incorporated.
Turn the mixer on low and let it go for 8 to 10 minutes  (I always set the timer for 4 minutes to be sure I don’t let it go the entire time needing a little attention!)
Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel.  Set over a bowl of very, very hot water.
After one hour, punch the dough down and let rise for another 45 minutes.
Remove dough and divide in half.   Then divide into thirds and braid.  Dough goes on a parchment covered baking sheet.   Again, put over a pan of very hot water and cover with kitchen towel.
Raise until loaves have doubled.
At this point, you can brush with beaten egg.  We do not since we use it for French Toast but the call is yours!
Bake at 350 for 35 minutes (check after 30!)

The William Henry Miller Inn http://www.millerinn.com Lynnette Scofield Bed and Breakfast Foodie

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