I love making bread. It is one of my favorite things to bake and one of my families favorite things to eat. I discovered the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking last year. I love this book and I have posted about it several times. I love the basic dough in the book and how versatile it is.
But I have another bread/dough from this book that I love and make quite a bit. It is their Challah dough. I use this for Challah, but I also use it for cinnamon rolls, and cinnamon bread. I love the fact that I can make this dough up and use it for several meals throughout the week.
This is so much cheaper and better tasting than store brought bread. Fresh, homemade bread is so good, especially a recipe like this that is so easy and convenient.
My kids love cinnamon rolls or cinnamon bread made with this dough. For cinnamon bread I just roll out about 1/3 of the dough, spread a little butter on it, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and roll it up. Seal the ends and tuck them under. Place in a greased loaf pan, let rise about 1 hour and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. My kids love this toasted for breakfast.
Challah Bread Dough
- 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (or neutral-tasting vegetable oil such as canola), plus more for greasing the cookie sheet
- 7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- Mixing and storing the dough: Mix the yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter (or oil) with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container. ( I use a food storage bucket)
- Mix in the flour without kneading, using a spoon, a 14-cup capacity food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with dough hook). If you’re not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.
- Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
- The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 5 days. Beyond 5 days, freeze in 1-pound portions in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks. Defrost frozen dough overnight in the refrigerator before using. Then allow the usual rest and rise time.
- On baking day, butter or grease a cookie sheet. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
- Divide the ball into thirds, using a dough scraper or knife. Roll the balls between your hands, stretching, to form each into a long, thin rope. If the dough resists shaping, let it rest for 5 minutes and try again. Braid the ropes, starting from the center and working to one end. Turn the loaf over, rotate it, and braid from the center out to the remaining end. This produces a loaf with a more uniform thickness than when braided from end to end.
- Allow the bread to rest and rise on the prepared cookie sheet for 1 hour and 20 minutes (or just 40 minutes if you’re using fresh, unrefrigerated dough).
- Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.
- Bake near the center of the oven for about 25 minutes. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in baking time. The challah is done when golden brown, and the braids near the center of the loaf offer resistance to pressure. Due to the fat in the dough, challah will not form a hard, crackling crust.
- Allow to cool before slicing or eating.