Braided Challah - 3 Strand Instructions
While working, keep the dough covered with a cloth. Divide dough into 3 balls. Using a little flour, and the palms of your hands, roll each ball into 12” ropes thick in the center and tapered at the ends. Set aside, covered and allow to rest for a few minutes. Preheat oven to 375o.
To make the braids, use little or no flour. If the dough sticks, use a very light dusting.
|Begin braiding from the center to the end (Figure 1)|
|Bring the left strand over the center, then the right over the center (Figure 2).|
|Repeat, left over right, right over left, until you reach the end (Figure 3).|
|Flip the braid over on its opposite side and turn top to bottom (Figure 4).|
|Complete the braid (Figure 5). Pinch the ends tightly together to close.|
Beat one egg and evenly brush top and sides of braided challah. Place on cornmeal dusted pan.
Allow to proof until not quite doubled in size and the braid feels firm when lightly touched on the sides. The bread will spring up in the oven. For a high gloss, brush bread with beaten egg a second time after the bread has proofed.
Bake at 375o for 45-60 minutes. When the top begins to brown, cover with a tent of parchment paper or an opened brown paper bag so the top does not burn while the center is allowed to bake.
NOTE: To customize this bread, you may add raisins, nuts to the mix and/or sesame and/or poppy seeds for topping.