This is a family recipe that makes three loaves of delicious challah bread. It is wonderful fresh, and the best bread in the world for making french toast the next morning.
1 1/2 cups milk
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup honey
3 envelopes dry yeast
3 eggs (1 yolk reserved)
1 TBSP salt
3 TBSP sugar
4-6 cups unbleached white flour (or bread flour)
Heat the milk on low heat and melt the stick of butter in milk
Meanwhile, put the water in a bowl with the honey and yeast, let sit while milk heats and butter melts.
When butter is melted, take milk/butter mixture off heat and let cool for a couple of minutes until it is only warm to touch.
In a large mixing bowl, combine yeast mixture (which should be bubbly) with milk mixture. Add sugar, salt, two whole eggs and 1 egg white. Reserve remaining yolk.
Begin adding flour a cup at a time, mixing to combine. It will seem too wet the whole time you are doing this. Keep adding flour until you get a sticky dough and mixing with a spoon is getting difficult. This is not a smooth, dry bread.
Liberally flour a work surface and your hands, and turn out dough. Knead, adding flour as you go, until you have a dough that is still fairly soft and sticky, but workable. Don't over knead. It should remain soft.
Put dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp towel.
Let rise for an hour or so. Punch down dough, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead briefly and separate into 3 equal portions. Braid each loaf and put into well-buttered loaf pans. Cover with towel and let rise for another half hour.
Beat remaining egg yolk with a bit of water and sugar, brush over tops of loaves. Bake at 350 until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow--depends on your oven. Start checking at around 25 minutes, though it will almost certainly take longer.
Let cool in loaf pans for a few minutes, then a few more minutes on racks.
If you are a masochist, Zach will have an actual recap of the game later on.