Challah is a traditional Jewish yeast bread with a light, airy texture.
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons water
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
How to Make It
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup warm water; let stand 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, oil, and egg; stir with a whisk. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place flour and salt in food processor; pulse 2 times or until blended. With processor on, slowly add yeast mixture through food chute; process 20 seconds or until dough forms a ball. Process an additional minute. Place dough in a large bowl lightly coated with cooking spray; turn to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)
Punch dough down, reshape into a ball, and return to bowl; cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Let rest 15 minutes. Divide dough into 3 equal portions; shape each portion into a 15-inch rope. Place ropes lengthwise on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray (do not stretch); pinch ends together at one end to seal. Braid ropes; pinch loose ends to seal. Cover and let rise 1 hour until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Combine 2 teaspoons water and egg yolk. Uncover dough; gently brush loaf with egg yolk mixture. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack.