Challah is a Classic Braided Egg Bread of European origin. It is wonderfully versatile, and can be formed into innumerable braids and rolls, seeded or not, or baked in loaf pans, braided or not. It keeps well due to the substantial amount of eggs and oil in the dough. Old challah makes delectable French toast. The challah described here is the same as that used for the braiding exercises in Chapter 9.
The challah dough can be retarded overnight in bulk form. In this case, the desired dough temperature is 75° to 78°F. After mixing, bulk ferment at room temperature for 1 hour, then place the dough in the retarder or refrigerator. The dough should be degassed twice during the first 4 to 6 hours of refrigeration. The benefits of overnight retarding are improved dough texture and keeping quality. Colder dough temperature also makes it easier to form strands.
A tasty variation is to make bread sticks with the challah dough. Cut individual dough pieces at
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