Let me start out by saying that I have no idea what I did with the original recipe for this challah bread. I saved a Word doc of the recipe but not the URL. Boy, do I feel silly. I did adapt the original recipe so I don't feel too terrible but I would prefer if I could give you a link because I am a firm believer in always linking back to your sources.
But I digress. Last week I didn't make any bread, whoops. Maybe this week's post can make up for that. I know my braiding technique needs some work but it's still an attractive loaf, non? Even if I was supposed to use poppy seeds and not sesame, and they didn't end up sticking anyway.
Normally with the recipes I share I start out by telling you to preheat your oven first. Not this time friends. We have to wait for this loaf to rise, twice. Well you do, if you make it, I already did my waiting. Which was totally worth it.
To make this lovely loaf, you will need: 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast, 1/4 cup of warm water, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 2 1/2 teaspoons of powdered egg replacer mixed with 1 cup of water, 2 teaspoons of coarse salt, 1/4 cup of sunflower oil, and 4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour.
Start by mixing the warm water, maple syrup, and yeast together. Let this sit for about 5 minutes. It should foam up a bit. After 5 minutes, add the egg replacer mixture to the yeast mixture, followed by the salt and oil. With the paddle attachment of your mixer, slowly mix together the wet ingredients with the flour. Once this is combined, switch to your dough hook attachment and run your machine on low speed for 5 minutes. The dough should be elastic but not sticky. Cover the dough up and let it rest for an hour and a half.
After 90 minutes, punch the dough down and separate it into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 12 inch rope. Pinch the 3 pieces together at one end and braid together. Secure the braid by pinching together this end as well. Place the loaf on your baking sheet and allow to rise for another 45 minutes. Brush the top with oil and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
Now you can preheat your oven to 350F and back the loaf for 25 to 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
The dough for this loaf can also be made in a bread machine (just follow the manufacturer's instructions) or by hand (kneading for 10 minutes). If you prefer you could also use whole-wheat flour or a combo of both.
I will definitely make this bread again. Also, I will be adapting this bread into something else delicious for a post next week. Stay tuned!