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Challah

1 1/2 tbsps active dry yeast
1/2 c warm (105 to 115 degrees F) water
1/3 cup sugar
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
1/2 c cream
1/2 c skim milk
1 tbsp honey
2 1/2 tsps salt
4 lg eggs
6 1/2 c bread flour

1 lg egg
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp cold water

Proof the yeast with water and a pinch of sugar. Let the mixture
rest for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it begins to foam. Cut butter
into small pieces and heat with cream and milk (original recipe
called for 1 cup of whole milk) until melted and milk is warm to
the touch. (If it is too warm, let it cool to 110 deg F or less.)
Add sugar, honey, salt, and yeast. Mix well. Add eggs, mix again.

Start adding flour, 1 cup at a time until the mix can no longer be
easily stirred. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead
in as much flour as needed to make the dough elastic and smooth
(do not always have to ad 6 1/2 cup of flour). Cover and rise till
double. Punch down, let rise until double again. Punch down,
separate into two pieces. Separate each piece again into six equal
pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth log about the length of your
forearm.


To Braid Six Strands

A. Pass the second strand from the right over to the far left
position.

B. Pass the strand on the far right over the two strands now on
its immediate left.

C. Pass the second strand from the left over to the far right
position.

D. Pass the strand on the far left over the two strands now on
its immediate right.

Transfer loaf to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Plump
back into shape if necessary. Lightly oil the surface of the dough,
cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until almost double. Preheat
oven to 350 deg F.

Mix together glaze ingredients and put it through a sieve. Brush
the top and sides of the challah with glaze, wait 5 minutes, and
brush again. Bake for 20 minutes, then apply glaze loaf again,
making sure to cover the newly exposed inner dough. Bake another
15 or 20 minutes, until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow
when thumped on bottom. If loaves darken too rapidly, tent loosely
with aluminum foil.

Cool before slicing. Once cut, loaves should be stored in plastic
bags. Slightly stale bread can be used for French Toast.

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