I've been wanting to bake a challah in so long, but never got the time. These past few days I got some time off from work, therefore I ventured braiding a six braid challah. It is most delicious in the morning served with either nutella, or jam alongside a cup of coffee or tea. This braid I made turned out to be huge. I am not sure we will be able to eat all of it while it still keeps its freshness, but in case I have any left I plan on making a bread pudding out of it.
for the dough:
6 cups of all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for dusting
2 cups of warm water
1 tbs dried yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
the zest of one lemon
3/4 cup honey
5 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tbs vanilla sugar
Place 5 1/2 cups of flour in a medium-sized bowl. Make a well in the flour and add the warm water. Add the yeast, salt, lemon zest, honey, olive oil, and egg. Knead all the ingredients into a smooth, soft, pliable dough. If the dough is too sticky keep dusting your hands with the remaining 1/2 cup of flour.
After you knead the dough for ten minutes, keep the dough in the same bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a proof bag. Allow for the dough to rise in a warm spot for two hours.
After the two hours have passed remove the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into six equal parts. Roll each part into a fifteen inch long rope (if the dough is too sticky, flour your hands). Begin braiding your dough into a six inch braid (I used an online tutorial to help me shape the braid). Place the braided challah onto a parchment paper coated pan, then place the pan into a proof bag and allow for the challah to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Make the glaze by mixing the milk with the vanilla sugar. Brush the challah well with the glaze then bake it for fifty minutes to an hour. Keep glazing the challah through the bake with the remaining glaze.
Take the challah out of the oven and allow for it to cool down at room temperature for thirty minutes before slicing.