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May 13, 2011 05:40 PM

Brioche or Challah

I want to make my first brioche for sandwiches, panini, French toast.
I don't have a bread machine or mixer. Can you make Brioche or challah mixing by hand?
Any tips?

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  1. Yes, I make Challah from time to time. I don't use a mixer for this dough. Here's my recipe:

    Yield: one loaf
    OPTIONAL: add 3/4 cup raisins to the dough after punch down

    1 1/4 cups warm water
    1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
    1/4 cup honey
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    3 eggs
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons poppy seeds (optional)

    In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water. Beat in honey, oil, 2 eggs, and salt. Allow the yeast to dissolve and bloom for a few minutes. Add the flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition, graduating to kneading with hands as dough thickens. Knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. Cover with a damp clean cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled in bulk.
    Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto floured board. Knead for five minutes or so, adding flour as needed to keep from getting sticky. Divide into thirds or fifths and roll into long ropes. Ropes should be well floured in order for braids to remain distinct during baking. Pinch one end of the ropes together firmly and braid. Place a silicone mat or parchment paper on a baking tray and place finished braid on it. Cover with towel and let rise about one hour.
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    Beat the remaining egg and brush a generous amount over each braid. Sprinkle with poppy seeds if desired.
    Bake at 375 degrees F for about 40 minutes. Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Cool on a rack for at least one hour before slicing.

    1 Reply
    1. Really easy--try the artisan bread in 5 minutes brioche. I do prefer regular brioche but this is very good. Mix up the ingredients, leave it in the refrigerator. No kneading.

      2 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        I'd also add that the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day challah is also quite serviceable.

        1. re: nofunlatte

          + 1 on both the challah and brioche from Artisan Bread. Try the bostock from that book, too! It uses the brioche dough and is rich, almondy and delicious!

      2. Slyvan, your question "Can you make Brioche or challah mixing by hand?" gave me a chuckle as I thought of the countless years people have been making bread without machines.

        Good luck with your recipe. If it comes out great post pictures :)