½ cup water water (about 110 F)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk (save the white for the glaze)
3 cups all-purpose flour (+ ½ cup, if needed)
¼ cup sugar
2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 large egg white (to glaze)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine 3 cups of the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk the warm water, melted butter, eggs and egg yolk. With the mixer on low, slowly add the water mixture and mix until a rough dough starts to form. Increase the speed to medium-low and let the machine knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl, but stick to the bottom. If the dough is too sticky, add up to ½ cup flour a little at a time.
Lightly grease a large bowl, form the dough into a smooth ball, and place in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, or place in refrigerator overnight. To check if your dough has risen enough, press a finger into the dough. If it springs back, let it rise a little bit longer. If it stays indented, move onto the next step.
When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured countertop and cut it in half. Roll the first half out into a rectangle and sprinkle the chocolate chips over it. Roll the dough into a tight rope. Very carefully stretch the rope of dough as far as you think you can from each end, and cut this longer rope in half. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
Place two ropes of dough in each direction, perpendicular to each other, like a pound symbol #. Weave them so that one rope is over and the other is under where they meet. Take the four legs that come from underneath the center and cross them over the rope to it’s right. Take the ropes that are now on the bottom and, again, cross each over the top rope, this time to the left. If you have extra length in your ropes, you can repeat these left-right jumps until you run out of rope. Tuck the ends of the ropes under the dough with the sides of your hands to form a round shape.*
Once you’ve formed your challah, place it on a baking sheet covered with parchment. Beat the egg white and brush it over the dough. Let the challah rise another hour.
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until deeply brown. If your challah is getting too dark too quick, tent it with aluminum foil for the remainder of the baking time. The challah is done when a thermometer inserted into the center of the dough reads 195°F, or if you don’t have an instant thermometer, lift the challah gently with an oven mitt and knock gently on the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, it’s done.
I worked with this recipe.