Today is National Homemade Bread Day. Making homemade bread is a beautiful thing and I often wish I had more time to do it. I thoroughly enjoyed the bread-baking class at the Natural Gourmet Institute and the students made some gorgeous loaves. Check out the photos HERE. You can also get the recipe for Whole Wheat Poppyseed Bread there, too (seen in photo on the right).
And because the holidays are coming up, here’s a recipe for Braided Challah Bread, courtesy of Bread-recipe.com.
Braided Challah Bread
2 (1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast or 5 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (105°F to 115°F / 40°C to 45°C) – divided use
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 tablespoons corn oil
3 large eggs – divided use
4 3/4 cups all-purpose or bread flour – divided use
3 tablespoons poppy or sesame seeds
- In a small bowl, combine yeast, 1/2 cup warm water and sugar. Leave it in a warm place for 5 minutes.
- Beat the rest of warm water with salt, corn oil, 2 eggs, yeast and 2 1/2 cups flour in a separate bowl. Beat often for 5 minutes or until elastic. Stir in 2-1/4 cups more flour gradually, working flour into dough thoroughly.
- Turn flour onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. In a greased bowl, put dough and turn to coat the top. Use a plastic wrap to cover and leave it to rise in a warm place for an hour or until doubled.
- Prepare 2 cookie sheets and grease with oil.
- Deflate dough and knead for 1 minute. Divide into 6 portions and roll each one into equal 15-inches long. Make 2 braids using 3 strands for each. Cover with a dish towel and leave it to rise for 45 minutes or until doubled.
- Prepare the oven to 375 degrees F preheat settings.
- Whisk the egg and brush it over the loaves in an upward motion. Sprinkle top with seeds and bake for 35 minutes. Loosely cover with foil if it appears to brown too fast. Cool over wire racks when done.
- Makes 2 loaves.