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2023-07-11 07:11:01

How to Make The Best Braided Bread - Challah

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So imagine you take Rapunzel and a loaf of bread and you put them together .

What do you get ?

Well , you get this now , despite dropping my camera and breaking a $1200 lens , we still got this video finished .

Now , Hala is a specialty braided Jewish bread that I feel like has gained quite a bit of popularity amongst the masses of the food and cooking community .

It's , it's just , it's that good .

I'll give you two reasons why you should make it a , it looks really cool .

B it's super easy to make and it's delicious .

Oh Also it makes the probably the best French toast of all time to start this off .

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You're gonna mix two teaspoons or 6 g of instant yeast with a third of a cup plus two tablespoons or 100 and 2 g of water at 95 F .

Just give that a little mix until it's dissolved and let it sit for about 5 to 8 minutes .

Then in a small mixing bowl , you're gonna mix together four and a quarter cup or 515 g of blood , blood flour of bread , flour with one tablespoon or 16 g of fine sea salt .

Now , I know that seems like a lot .

You can totally lower it a little bit to three quarters of a tablespoon or 10 g .

I like this loaf of little salt here .

But I know a lot of people don't .

So you can always drop that salt a little bit if you want and just transfer that flour mixture to a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment .

And uh don't forget to make this as inconvenient as possible for yourself by pouring it into the bowl while it's attached to the stand mixer .

I don't , I don't know why I do this with your mixer running on low , add your yeast water mixture to the flour mixer along with 3.5 tablespoons or 78 g of honey .

I mixed the honey in with the water right before I added it , but you don't have to do that .

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Then just go ahead and toss in the remainder of your ingredients minus the toppings .

Of course , which will be two whole eggs about 100 g , four egg yolks , about 67 g .

I know it's a lot of egg yolks .

I'll talk about in a second and a quarter cup or 60 g of vegetable oil .

I opted for sunflower oil .

Then just mix that on medium low speed , scraping on the sides is necessary .

Now , if it's got some dry flour on the bottom , don't worry , don't panic .

Just add tiny little droplets of water just until it comes together .

You shouldn't have to add much water if any at all .

And I know this has a lot of yolks in it compared to most hala .

But I actually like it with more yolks .

It gives it that nice rich , golden yellow color .

And I just personally think the texture is better with it anyway .

So you're gonna get continue mixing this in your stand mixer at medium low speed for about 4 to 6 minutes or until the dough becomes super smooth and is no longer sticking to the walls .

If it detaches from the walls , but it looks like it needs a little more needing , then you can just lightly flower a work surface , pull it out and then just lightly need it until it's nice and smooth .

It shouldn't take very long at all .

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Now , once that dough is looking nice and smooth , lightly grease , a medium sized bowl and shape your dough into a ball by gently tucking the bottom into itself , then placing it on your work surface and push and roll it on the surface .

So it pulls the dough into itself just until it forms a lightly top ball .

Don't go too hard there then place in your greasy bowl cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it sit at about 76 F or 24 Celsius for one hour .

Now , I use my fermentation station of course , which will be linked below .

Now , another way to get this attempt would be to put it in the oven turned off with only the light on .

Now , fore warning , the oven will go above 76 with that method .

So keep an eye on the temp .

If you're doing that , then after that hour is uh perform some light stretching folds by grabbing one edge of the dough and folding it over to the middle , then repeat that all along the edge of the dough , then pick it up out of the bowl , flip it over and place it seams side down .

So you get the smooth surface facing up again , cover it again and let it rest for one more hour at the same temperature , making it a two hour warm rise time .

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Now , when you look at your dough , whatever you do do not panic .

Now it's not gonna have risen a whole lot at all .

It'll maybe have risen about 25 30% .

Do not worry , this is normal .

So now you're just gonna separate your dough into however many equally sized pieces you want .

This is gonna be dependent on what number of strands you're gonna want in your final loaf .

I found that a four strand loaf seems to kind of be the lucky number for both of an aesthetic loaf with a nice upward rise without too much finicky in the braiding .

Those six strand loafs can get uh well , you know a little hectic to say the least .

Now , this means that you're gonna need to divide your dough into four pieces weighing about 232 g each if you have a scale .

Now , if you're one of those folks who likes to stray away from the recipe because you're a rebel and I respect that .

Then the total dough weight is 928 g .

You can divide that by as many or as little strands as you want .

You want to do a single strand braided loaf , uh prob probably don't want to do that , but you , you get the point .

Now take each piece and shape it into a rough rectangle shape that's relatively even .

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Then fold the top part of the rectangle to the middle , then repeat with the bottom , overlapping the top .

Now gently seal that and lightly conform to an even tube shape .

Repeat that with all of your pieces of dough and allow them to rest for about 15 minutes covered with a damp cloth or plastic wrap before rolling .

Now , uh you know , damp cloth for the eco-friendly version once have rested lightly dust , a work surface with flour and gently roll them into 13 to 14 inch strands by starting from the middle and slowly working your way out to the edges while rolling at the same time again .

It , it shouldn't take too much pressure .

Don't , don't uh don't smash these no , no Hulk mode here .

Uh You do want to lightly increase pressure as you reach the edges though , to create sort of a tapered appearance .

Uh If your dough resists you and won't get long enough , then don't fight it , just let it rest for 10 minutes .

It , it will win that fight .

Don't try and fight it .

If it's been a stubborn dough , then it deserves a time out .

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So let it rest and then continue rolling with all your strands and make sure that all these strands are as even in length as possible , it'll just make the braiding process a whole lot easier .

And now comes the most bittersweet part of this entire recipe .

The braiding .

Now , since my camera is facing the other way , man , I really wish I had thought about this while I was filming , I'll have the written directions for the braiding down in the description to help out here .

Obviously , the left and right will be a little flip flopped to the , where the camera is facing .

Uh you know , and I'll also have another method for uh braiding different kinds of strands if you wish to go that route .

So to start your fore braid , you're gonna take your strands and sort of meet them all at one point from the end , facing farthest away from you and then display them out like you see here .

Now at the point where they all meet from the farthest point away from you , you're just gonna conjoin all those little strands together .

That way they have a little starting point where they all are beginning the braid essentially .

I know some people like to put a coffee mug or something there to hold them all down .

I don't think that's really necessary , but it's up to you .

So you're gonna label these by letter ABC and D starting from left to right left .

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Being A and then far right being D obviously , when you're facing it , it's gonna be a little flip flopped on this version .

Start by moving A to the center of this thing .

Then C to the far left , then D to the center B to the far , right , then move C in between A and D and A to the far left , then move B in between C and D and D to the far , right .

Right .

Now , take a little breather .

We're back where we started .

OK .

ABC D , it's all , it's all back .

Now .

We're just gonna take a in between C and B and then C over to the far left and then just kind of bring everything in tie together and you're done , just make sure to pinch all those edges together so that it's nice and good form and then kind of , and then kind of push that edge underneath the loaf so that it doesn't come undone or anything just lightly .

You don't need to bend the loaf and that's it .

That's braiding as you can see , I'm very excited here .

I know .

It's a little confusing all the written directions down in the description .

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If there's any confusion , you can always just go ahead and read that now to set up our baking sheet .

I like to spray a little bit of cooking oil down and then I'll place the parchment paper just so that the parchment paper doesn't slide around , it ends up adhering and uh it's nice then place your braided loaf onto that parchment paper , brush it with egg wash and the egg wash is just gonna be one egg that's been whisked together with about a tablespoon of water .

Now , once you've brushed the entire thing nicely , place it in an oven that's turned off with just the light turned on so that it creates a little bit of warmth and let it rise for two hours .

And during that two hour time frame , we're gonna brush it about every 40 minutes .

There's not gonna be any plastic wrap on top of this .

You don't need to cover it .

The repeated brushings of egg wash is what's going to hydrate the skin so that it doesn't dry out .

That's why it's important that it is in a draft free environment .

Now , we're not looking for rice as much as we're looking for something called the finger dent test .

So just dip your finger in that egg wash and then lightly poke the loaf and if it springs back a little bit but not all the way .

Then it's ready .

If it doesn't spring back at all , then it is not proof enough yet .

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Now , once it's ready to go in the oven , make sure you set your oven to preheat at 375 F .

Give it one last brushing of egg wash and then Sprinkle it with sesame seeds .

Optionally .

Of course , you can also do poppy seeds .

Also make sure to take your loaf out of the oven where you're proofing it when you turn your oven on to preheat .

Now , once your oven is preheated , toss the loaf in and immediately reduce the temperature to 3 25 bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until nice and golden brown on top .

Now , if the top starts to brown a little too quickly , then you can always just tent it with foil whenever need be and that's it .

You know the drill bake it , cool it .

Yeah , but I think we're missing one essential piece .

The secondary be right guys .

And that is it Halla bread .

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I think the hardest part out of this entire thing is easily the braiding because everything else is pretty simple making the dough is simple .

It's just a lot of like mostly just waiting for it to rise .

So if you guys end up making these hall , please be sure to send them to me and DM them to me on Instagram or Twitter or whatever , what have you and if you don't know where to find me at , the link is below in the description , click it .

But with all that said , if you enjoyed this video or you learn something , leave a like subscribe and I will see you next week .


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