This version has little of the traditional egg, but retains the delicate texture associated with challah bread.
INGREDIENTS (for 2 servings):
- 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 cups bread flour
- 1 egg white, beaten
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and honey in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the oil, salt and 3 cups flour; stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and form into two long oval loaves. Place on two lightly greased baking sheets. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Just before baking, give the risen loaves three shallow slashes with a sharp knife. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, turn heat down to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), brush with beaten egg white. Return loaves to the oven to bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until golden brown and bottoms sound hollow when tapped.