challah n' honey

challah is fluffy and eggy and sweet and carby. in short, it's perfect. paired with a swirl of honey butter, it's pure bliss. easy to make and a sure fire way to impress your friends, family and fans, i'm of the opinion that there should always be a place at the table for this bread. 

challah bread with salted honey butter

challah recipe by saveur

what you'll need (for challah):
3⁄4 cup plus 2 tbsp. milk, heated to 115°
1⁄4 cup plus 1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. active dry yeast
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups flour
1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
1 egg yolk

what you'll do (for challah):

  1. in large bowl, mix together milk, just the 1 tsp of sugar and yeast. let it sit for about ten minutes, which will allow it to get nice and foamy.
  2. as you wait, whisk butter and eggs in a small bowl. once mixed, pour into large bowl with yeast mixture. stir to combine.
  3. then, into your large bowl, slowly add in flour, rest of sugar and salt by mixing with a wooden spoon. you'll see the dough start to come together.
  4. transfer dough to a lightly floured counter and knead for about six to eight minutes. 
  5. once your dough is smooth, plop it back into a lightly greased large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. let the yeast do its magic (aka let sit until doubled in size, which takes about an hour). after you've waited about an hour, punch dough down and place the plastic wrap back on top. let sit for about thirty minutes.
  6. uncover dough and divide into four equal portions. roll each quarter into a 16"-long rope. line up your dough ropes side by side so that they are perpendicular to you. to me, they kind of look like a bunch of octopus arms. that may or may not be a helpful visual. 
  7. pinch together rope ends farthest from you to form one end of loaf. once they're securely pinched together, start braiding by weaving the dough ropes. pinch ends together to seal once all braided. transfer braided loaf to a parchment paper—lined baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. let proof for one hour.
  8. meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 375°. in a small bowl, stir together egg yolk and 1 tbsp. water. once your dough is proofed, lightly brush egg mixture over top. if you want to get crazy, you can top with sesame seeds.
  9. bake until loaf is dark golden brown, 30–35 minutes.
  10. transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes before serving. giving you just enough time to make honey butter!

what you'll need (for salted honey butter):
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened until room temperature
1/8 cup honey
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. sea salt

what you'll do (for salted honey butter):

  1. place softened butter into medium bowl. using a handheld mixer, beat until whipped. 
  2. slowly pour in honey, and sprinkle in cinnamon and sea salt. beat until all ingredients are thoroughly whipped.
  3. serve on warm challah!