Almost No-Knead Egg Challa (including braiding instructions)

Picture of Almost No-Knead Egg Challa (including braiding instructions)
This recipe is based on the excellent work by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois of Artisan Bread in Five fame. It has been modified somewhat for an easily braided loaf. 

I have been baking bread for years. I don't have room in my kitchen for a large mixer, so would spend a good 20 to 30 minutes kneading by hand for a well developed gluten in my dough. Jeff and Zoe's innovation of making a very quick very wet dough and letting it rise for hours is the most exciting thing to happen to bread making since dry yeast!

This recipe makes 3 large braided loaves. In principle you can bake part of it and refrigerate the rest to bake later, but note that raw eggs make this more of a health risk than a simple basic recipe (watch the videos on the Artisan Bread in Five site).

I started out making this recipe with 100% unbleached white, then moved to 25% whole wheat, and then to 50% white, 25% whole wheat and 25% whole spelt. I will give the proportions for each of these options.

Update: I have gradually weaned my children off of white flour, and am now using a 50:50 whole wheat:spelt mixture. If your whole wheat flour is very dark and heavy, you may want to adulterate slightly with regular unbleached.
ryoko10113 years ago
thankyou for making this, I love making challah it has a great taste and rich texture, :) I forgot how to make it though and came across ur instructable, came out great, I tried doin an 8 braided bread though it was huge!! lol..

thanx :)
robolion (author)  ryoko10113 years ago
Wow, a single 6 braid from a full recipe? You must have a giant oven :-)
I'm sure you noticed, but for other readers benefit, if you are making very large or very small loaves the baking time and temperature needs to be adjusted respectively.
So with large loaves after the thermal shock at the start, I would turn the heat down a little sooner than with a smaller loaf, and give it more time at a lower heat, to make sure it is cooked all the way through. Tapping the bottom and listening for a hollow sound is the standard method, but can be tricky with large loaves which may break apart when flipped over.
Enjoy, Robolion
ryoko10113 years ago
sry meant to say 6 lol. :)