I like to make home baked challah for Erev Shabbat whenever feasible. The use of a bread machine for creating the dough has been a tremendous boon in this, because it means that once I get the ingredients in and the doughball to the right consistency, I can pay attention to other things. This recipe has been working pretty well for me, though I find the crumb can be a bit dry the day after it comes out of the oven. I wonder if more oil can fix that. Advice would be appreciated.
Anyway, here is the Recipe as it stands:
1C Warm Water
Combine and let floof for ~20min
2: The Bread Machine.
Put in the sponge, three eggs, 1.25tsp Salt, 2tbsp Honey, 1/3C Olive or Grapeseed Oil
Measure out 3.25C, including 2tbsp. gluten, flour by pouring the flour into the cup to avoid packing. (One day I will weigh this out so that this won't be a worry, but now I don't have a scale.) Add to Bread machine. Run the dough cycle. Add flour/water as necessary for proper dough ball consistency.
3: Shape and proof.
Set a skillet with water on the stove to boil while you shape the dough
Remove completed dough and punch down. Divide into however many strands you want and braid. Put on a floured baking sheet.
Remove skillet of steaming water to bottom of oven. I have an oven with a pilot light which keeps the water steaming. Put the loaf on the middle rack and let proof in the humid ofen for ~40 minutes.
4: Brush and bake
Remove loaf and water-pan from oven. Preheat to 450 Degrees.
Brush with an egg wash comprising a half cup water and an egg. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seed.
Bake for 20 Minutes.
It comes out looking very much like this:
And it goes quite nicely with my Simple Shakshuka, shown here garnished with asparagus and chiffonade of basil.