Step 1: You will need
- 2 1/5 cups flour
- 40 g sugar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 egg
- 25 g instant yeast
- 200 ml lukewarm water
- 60 g butter, room temperature
- 7 g salt
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp of milk
- some sesame seeds, or poppy seeds
- a little flour for dusting
- 1 large bowl
- 1 knife
- 1 baking tray lined with parchment paper
- 1 plastic bag
- 1 brush
Step 2: Begin the dough
To the mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, honey, yeast, butter, egg and water. Mix it together, first with the spoon and then with your hands. Use a damp towel under the bowl to prevent it from moving.
Continue to knead the dough using the heel of your hand for about 7 minutes. If you like, you can remove it from the bowl to knead on a table.
Step 3: Let dough rise
The dough will change its texture, becoming smooth and shiny with a medium-soft consistency.
After this occurs, form it into a ball and put it back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a plastic bag and allow the dough to rise for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
Step 4: Portion the dough
Once the dough is ready, "punch" the air out while it is still in the bowl. Next, carefully collect the dough, separating it from the sides of the bowl.
Sprinkle your work space with a little flour before working more with the dough. Now, shape the dough into one log and let it rest for a minute or two. Finally, cut it into six even portions using the knife.
Step 5: Roll and shape
Take one portion of the dough and roll it into one long, snake-like log, starting at the middle and working outwards. Repeat with all 6 portions. Lay 3 of the logs beside each other and join them together at one end. Take one of the outside logs and carefully twist it, placing it into the middle. Take the other outside strand and place that one into the middle, making a braided knot. Make sure it is tight but not tight enough to stretch the dough. Continue this braiding motion until you reach the end of the logs. Trim each of the ends and place it onto the baking tray.
Repeat the same thing with the remaining 3 logs until you have second challah loaf. Also place this one on the baking tray. Next, cover the dough again in a plastic bag and allow it to rise until it doubles in size, or about 30 minutes.
Step 6: Preheat the oven
Set the oven to 180°C (350ºF/ gas mark 4).
Step 7: Brush with egg wash
Using the brush, coat the surface of the challah and sprinkle them with sesame seeds or poppy seeds.
Step 8: Bake
Place the challah in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes.
Step 9: Remove and serve
Remove from the oven when golden brown, slice and serve. Some people add raisins to the recipe as well for that extra hint of sweetness.