Recipe by: Alisha Stagg, adapted from Jessica Fechtor for Food52
Hanukkah is right around the corner and to celebrate, Alisha from Team Brightland has shared an Olive Oil and Honey Challah recipe that her family has been making for years.
Alisha's take on the golden, light-textured classic challah bread is delicately sweet and floral from the addition of Brightland's California orange blossom honey. Boosted with our smooth ALIVE olive oil and braided into a striking presentation, this challah recipe will add a festive touch to any dinner table this holiday season.
500 grams (4 cups) bread ﬂour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk (save the extra white in the fridge for glazing later on)
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl. Dump the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until a wet, sticky dough forms. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel or plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes.
Peel back the plastic. Grab an edge of the dough, lift it up, and fold it over itself to the center. Turn the bowl a bit and repeat until each part of the dough has been folded in on itself (about 8 folds). Flip the dough seam-side down and rest for 30 minutes.
Repeat four more times, with a 30 minute rest between each. The sticky dough becomes more elastic with each step round of folding. Pull plastic wrap tightly over the bowl and refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours—any longer and you risk over-proofing.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into six equal pieces. Roll into six strands, each about a foot long and 3/4 inch in diameter. Dust sparingly with flour to reduce sticking, but minimize the amount of extra flour you add at this step.
Form one six-strand braid (see braiding instructions, below) on top of the parchment paper on the baking sheet.
Cover with plastic and a dish towel and let proof at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, until the dough is noticeably swollen and puffed and bounces back very slowly when you poke it.
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Uncover the loaf and brush lightly with the reserved egg white.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until the bread is golden and gorgeous and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. You can also check for doneness with a thermometer. The internal temperature will be 190° F when fully baked.
Transfer to a rack and let cool. I know, it’s hard, but let it cool first. Until you can’t take it anymore and cut the heel off to enjoy warm with salted butter.