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Challah Crowns

Challah Crowns
PREP TIME
25 min
COOK TIME
35 min
YIELDS
12 - 16 servings

While challah is traditionally eaten on the Jewish Sabbath (in fact, the Sabbath begins with a blessing over challah), it’s a fantastic all-purpose bread, great for sandwiches or French toast.

Makes 2 round loaves (about 12 to 16 servings)

Courtesy of Food Network Kitchens.

Copyright 2007 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.

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Ingredients

4
cups all-purpose flour (1 lb, 1 ⅜ oz), plus up to ¾ cup (3 ½ oz) more for kneading
2
Tbsp sugar (⅞ oz)
2 ¼
tsp rapid rise yeast (¼ oz package)
1
cup warm water, about 110ºF
cup honey
2
whole large eggs
3
large egg yolks
¼
cup extra virgin olive oil
1
Tbsp kosher salt
1
Tbsp poppy seeds (optional)
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Directions

Step 1

Whisk the flour, sugar, and yeast together in a large bowl and make a well in the center.

Step 2

Whisk the water and honey with 1 whole egg, all the yolks, olive oil, and salt in a small bowl and pour into the well. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon to make a soft, shaggy, moist dough. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead by hand, adding up to 3/4 cup more flour as needed, until the dough is soft and supple, about 8 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball.

Step 3

Brush a large bowl with oil and turn dough around in bowl to coat lightly. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set aside until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead briefly to release excess air, re-shape into a ball and return to the bowl. Cover and set aside until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Step 4

Line 2 baking sheet pans with parchment paper. Divide the dough in half. Lightly dust hands with flour and roll each portion of dough into a 30-inch-long log. (If dough resists, then cover and let rest for 5 or 10 minutes before shaping). Spiral each length of dough around itself to form a coiled round loaf on the prepared pans. Lightly stretch the end of the coil and moisten it with water; gently press the end into the side of the round to seal the coil into a loaf. Press down on the loaves gently, cover with a kitchen towel and set aside until doubled, about 1 hour.

Step 5

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Beat the remaining egg with a tablespoon of water and brush loaves evenly with it; sprinkle with poppy seeds if desired. Put the loaves in the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 400ºF, and bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the crown registers 190ºF, about 30 to 35 minutes.

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