Step 4: Proofing and baking

After shaping the braids, you have to let it rise again, for 45 minutes. This rise is also called proofing the dough. In order to prevent a skin on the dough, you have to cover it. The best you can use, is a floured linen towel. I used to use a damp cotton kitchen towel until recently. But the floured linen sticks even less, especially with very moist doughs.
So after these 45 minutes, you need to brush the babies with eggwash. I take a egg yolk and a little bit of water, mix it with a fork and brush it on the braids.

Baking instructions can vary from oven to oven. For a bread of this size, a baking time of about 35 min. seems appropriate at around 170 Celsius 340 Fahrenheit with the oven preheated. My mum used to put it into the cold oven and set it to 180 Celsius 355 Fahrenheit for 40-45 min. This way, the yeast gives a last quick rise, as the oven heats. I normally use the cold oven method.
Since i can add steam in my oven, i use this feature extensively. It keeps the crust from forming in the beginning, giving it a even better "oven spring".
Since my wood fired bread / pizza oven is operational, i had to try a braid of course.
So happy I found this. Thanks for sharing your hard work!
This bread is amazing! I eat it every time I go to my grandparents house. This bread should be eaten for passover instead.
Well actually, Passover is the holiday when you can't eat bread. Sorry.
I'm not proficient in jewish holidays, but it sounds like passover is only once a year. Definitely not enough for this bread... ;-) Maybe the end of your comment should read "as well" instead of "instead". No blasphemy intended...
yeah meaning to replace the bowel stopping matzah, but should not be limited to passover.
If I omit the spelt flour, how will it affect my recipe? I'm really just too lazy to ride to the store; can't drive yet :(
Should be not that big a deal, if you use plain all purpose flour.
I just want to say that this recipe is amazing! I'm actually making some now; I decided to put some raisins and fermented blueberries in it, so I guess I'll wait and see how it turns out!
Sounds interesting, i'm experimenting with potatoes in the bread dough. I first cook them, then i mash them and add it to the dough. I made the first test yesterday with around 30% potatoes. It worked very nicely, but the potatoes are only very slightly noticable. Today i'm using more potatoes and add some bacon and onions. I made a onion-bacon bread many years ago and it was a slammer.
 hey its a great recipe my parents loved it
Challah is Jewish, not Arabic.
Challah is a traditional jewish bread, used for bringing in the Sabbath celebration. I would not say it has anything to do with Arab culture.
You can say that again.
You're right, i seem to have mixed up hebrew with arabic.
hey sry to be the one who has to say this but the vid isnt working other then that AMAZing instructathingy i deffinetly making some
Download it to your desktop, then play it with VLC or Mediaplayer. It works for me, i just tried it. I know, it's not user friendly. But for the moment, that's how it is.
can you show the braiding of the dough too? it's been ages since I made this thing, pheew!
There is a video of it at the end of step 3. You can download and play it with VLC for example.
Can you let it rise over night?
Yes you can certainly do that. The difference is, you put the formed braids in the fridge to retard the final proof. Be sure to cover them with food wrap to prevent a skin from forming and taking up offtastes. In the morning, you eggwash the babies and bake them. Maybe you need to prolong the baking time by 5-10 minutes. If your crumb gets too dense, you could wait 10-20 minutes after forming, before you put them into the fridge. Taking out a dough from the fridge, or even a freezer and forming it afterwards is a bit problematic. Since the foamy consistency of a leavened dough, it insulates pretty well. That means, the core of the dough takes very long to reach ambient temperature. That in turn means the core of the loaf stays denser than the outer regions. I was thinking about heating a cooled dough evenly with a microwave, but i don't have one yet. I will try it sometime soon.
Hi, for the ingredients you have mills and oz's is there anyway you can break that down into cups and measuring spoons? This sounds really good but what if someone doesn't have something to measure mills and oz's....any help will be grealy appareciated. Thank you, Sandy
I added the volume measures in the ingredients step.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I really appreciate what you did not only for me but for others as well who might want the same recipe. THANK YOU AGAIN, SANDY
Hi Sandy,<br/>if you're serious about baking, invest in a kitchen scale. (Analog types start at 4 $, digital at 20$.)<br/>If you don't want to invest, the internet is your friend. I did a search with (weight volume conversion ingredients) and came up with:<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://pantsblazing.com/convert/vol_weight.php">Conversion</a><br/><br/>Hope this helps.<br/>
OH WOW!! This is really cool. I love this. Yes I have a computer (needless to say) but sometimes I get a little brain dead and I never thought to look for what you got for me. I do so really, really appreciate the effort and the time it took for you to do this for me. Thank you ever so much and I do hope that you and your family enjoy the up and coming HOLIDAYS. THANKS AGAIN, SANDY
Great instructable! I love challah, and with Yom Kippur just around the corner I should probably give this a try!
Every time i have had challa it has had a much darker crust than the picture is that because its baked longer or what? nice ible btw.
If your crust gets too dark, try to bake with a 10-20 deg lower setting. You can't reduce the time by much. Otherwise it won't bake through. When i started, i used a old oven, that needed a higher setting, than my new convection steam oven.
ROFL XD it looked like poop from the picture, sorry for that... great instructables and very delicious too =D.<br/>
Hey there i never looked at it this way, bwahaha. But as you mention it, yeah, possibly. I'm just on my way to craft some croissants. Just bought some 40 pounds of flour yesterday, now i need some sweet butter to fold in to make a yeasted puff pastry dough. Desperate housewives would say it's too complicated to make, but hey, what's the deal. I made some last weekend, now i have to check out a different receipe to perfect it. We have a 25 person brunch coming up, where i have to bake some bread, croissants and "poop-bread" of course. I will bake it in my wood fired oven, since it will be to big for my electric household ovens, think of the three "poopies" in one piece, what a sight. I hope you tried to make them, because they are really delicious.
Also, is it possible to make this with soymilk and olive oil instead? I don't really like dairy products except cheese.
You can substitute the milk with soymilk of course. For the butter i'd take a less aromatic oil than olive oil. For example sunflower oil. I'd take around 125ml or 7 tablespoons or so. If you like olive oil very much, you can try it of course. As for the version with dairy products, give it a try, you will be surprised how it tastes. The version with vegetable fats will be more of a challah, i didn't try it myself.
Wow, thanks a lot for posting this, I haven't been on the site for awhile, I tried making it without this instructable, and got a half done hard tack thing, it tasted like dough XP I'll make this once I clean up the kitchen a bit!
Challah back!
I sure does love my challah!

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