Home Bread-Bakers v104.n016.3

8 strand challah

FREDERICKA COHEN <cohenfs@prodigy.net>
Wed, 17 Mar 2004 05:23:28 -0800 (PST)
These are the Leigh Davisson instructions for an 8 strand challah.

Use a recipe that would  make two loaves of bread. Leigh uses "white 
sandwich bread" from Crust and Crumb by Peter Reinhardt.

Roll dough into 8 strands. Each one is usually 18 to 24 inches long. Make 
sure they are all pretty close in length and thickness.If bread resists, 
let it sit and come back to that piece.

** Fredericka's note:I used a 5 cup recipe and made my strands 16 to 18 inch.

Place all 8 pieces roughly parallel and attach all at one end by pressing 
them together. Gently push them apart so that you have four strands on each 

Now begin braiding. Start with the piece on the far left, carry it over the 
three strands next to it, and put it in the center next to the four strands 
that are on the right of it.

Do the same with the strand farthest on the right, crossing over the three 
strands next to it AND the one you have just brought over from the left. 
Place it next to the three remaining strands that are on the left.

** Fredericka's note: You are crossing three from the left and four from 
the right.

Repeat from left and right until you run out of strands to braid.Pinch the 
ends together  and tuck them under the end of the loaf.  Adjust the loaf so 
width is roughly the same. Place on parchment paper to rise. Spray with 
cooking spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

** Fredericka's note: I braid directly on the parchment as it makes it 
easier to slide it into oven. I use a good size piece of paper and tape the 
ends to the table to prevent sliding.  I do a first egg wash instead of 
spray  and cover with a $2.98 plastic sweater box I use as a proofing box.

You will find it surprisingly easy. Just make sure the ends are tucked 

** Fredericka's note: It is "surprisingly easy", believe me. I practiced a 
4 strand with one inch upholstery cord for two weeks before I got that.  I 
never got close to the "legs down, arms up"  of the 6 strand.

It makes a stunning presentation.

Thanks again, Leigh (and Bob who played detective in North Carolina!)