- Craig Claiborne born (1920)
- 1 Ounce fresh yeast, or .4 ounces dry active yeast
- 1 1/2 Ounce brown sugar
- 1 1/2 Ounce canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 4 Ounces yolk
- 1 sugar pumpkin, or 8 ounces of pumpkin puree
- 24 Ounces bread flour
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 Teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 Teaspoon kosher salt
- All-purpose flour, for rolling
- 4 Ounces honey, for brush
A traditional Jewish bread, challah is made from dough that has been enriched with high amounts of eggs, yolks, yeast and sugar. It is ideal for tea or breakfast, and works well for French toast. This recipe requires dough to be refrigerated overnight.
For the dough, combine the yeast with 1 ¼ cup of warm water in bowl of an electric mixer (temperature should be approximately 100 degrees). Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir to dissolve. Add brown sugar, oil, eggs, 1 ounce of the yolks, and the pumpkin puree. Sift all of the dry ingredients together except the salt and add to the mixer bowl. Carefully add the salt on top of flour, avoiding any contact between the salt and the yeast. Mix on low speed until the dough forms (about 90 seconds), and test for moisture. The dough should feel soft, but not like a batter. Adjust with flour or water, if needed. Continue mixing on low speed for about 6 minutes to develop gluten. Remove from the mixer and let rest in an airtight container overnight in refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the dough into 5 equal portions. Roll each dough into an 18 inch baton on a clean surface dusted with flour. Line the batons next to one another and begin to braid, following the order 1 over 3, 2 over 3, and 5 over 2 until you have reached the end. Transfer to a baking tray and allow to rise for 45 minutes, preferably in a warm and most area, until doubled in size. (To create this environment, lightly simmer a small pot of water, remove from the heat and place in a cold oven to allow moisture to permeate. Then place the dough in oven.)
Brush the dough with the rest of the egg yolk and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and very firm to the toughs, or internal temperature reads 165 degrees. Remove from the oven, brush with honey and cool on a wire rack.