In my favourite – sweet – version.
In some cultures challah is connected to some religious events or holidays. In Poland it’s just another variation of a sweet bread.
When I was little, the most rewarding Saturday morning, after whole week in school, was challah (we call it chałka) for breakfast. Freshly baked, warm, covered with sweet home made jam plus cocoa to drink. Every time I bake challah I feel like this little girl again 🙂
Ingredients (makes one big or 2 smaller challah):
3 1/4 cup bread flour
1 large egg
60g caster sugar
4 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm milk
16g vanilla sugar or 1 tsp vanilla essence
10g dry yeast
2 tbsp cocoa
1 beaten egg
2 tbsp milk
poppyseed or cinnamon
Sift flour into a large bowl and mix with yeast. Make a small hole in the middle. Mix egg with milk and butter and pour into the bowl with flour. Add sugar and salt. Stir until a soft dough forms. Cover with a tea towel and let it stand for 15-30 minutes (until double in size).
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic. Divide into 4 equal pieces. Mix one piece with cocoa. Make ropes and braid them, like on this youtube video: link
Place braided challah on a baking sheet covered with paper. Cover with a tea towel and let it rise again for 30 minutes.
Before baking, brush with an egg mixed with milk and sprinkle evenly with poppyseed or cinnamon.
Bake in 175C for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Let it cool on a wire rack.