Miriam's challah

    Miriam's challah

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    About this recipe: This recipe makes two beautiful braided loaves of sweet challah bread.

    Serves: 20 

    • 475ml water
    • 110g cooking margarine
    • 960g bread flour, divided
    • 50g caster sugar
    • 35g soft brown sugar
    • 3 (7g) sachets dried active yeast
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Extra time:1hr55min  ›  Ready in:3hr10min 

    1. Combine water and margarine in a small saucepan. Heat until margarine is melted and very warm, but not boiling.
    2. In a large bowl, mix in 450g bread flour, caster sugar, brown sugar, yeast and salt. Add water and margarine mixture; beat well. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the remaining flour, about 75g at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
    3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
    4. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into six equal pieces and form into long 'ropes'. Braid the pieces together to form two large loaves. Place the loaves on two lightly greased baking trays, cover the loaves with a clean, damp drying cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
    5. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
    6. Brush the risen loaves with the beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
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