On to the recipe (taken from Steamy Kitchen):
You start by mixing the master dough first, let that rest overnight in the refrigerator, then the next day, pinch off a grapefruit sized piece of dough (1lb) to use for a loaf of Challah. Return the rest to the refrigerator to use for another day.
1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbl instant yeast
1 1/2 tbl kosher salt (1 1/2 tsp table salt)
4 lg eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, water, honey, melted butter, yeast and salt. Stir well with a wooden spoon. Add in the flour. STIR, BABY STIR!!! Stir until you don't see any more dry bits of flour. Cover (not airtight) and stick it in the refrigerator overnight, or up to 4 days. The longer you let it fart around in the refrigerator (literally!), the better tasting the dough will be.
pssst....if you want, you can let it rise for 2 hours on the counter, pinch off the dough that you need to make your Challah. However, I've found that with only a 2-hour rise, the bread isn't very flavorful. Still good, but definitely not as good as if you had let it sit 1-4 days in the refrigerator.
Nutella and Roasted Hazelnut Challah adaptation of Challah recipe from from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
1 lb of Master Challah Dough (above) about a grapefruit sized chunk of dough
4 1/2 tbl Nutellasmall handful of hazelnuts
1 egg + 1 tbl water, whisked to make egg wash
The first thing you need to do is take that master dough out of the refrigerator, grab a grapefruit sized chunk of dough. Return the rest of it to the refrigerator to use another time. Generously flour your hands and the dough. Shape the dough into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough and tucking it to the bottom all around, rotating hte ball a quarter-turn as you go. This creates a taut, smooth surface. Let the dough hang out on counter, covered with a towel to take the chill off while you roast your hazelnuts.
Roast Hazelnuts: Grab a medium sized skillet. Turn heat to medium. When hot, add hazelnuts and roast, continually moving the nuts so that they don't burn. You may want to turn your heat to medium-low if the pan gets too hot. Roast until nuts are golden brown and fragrant. Roughly chop the nuts with a sharp chef's knife and cutting board.
Braid Dough: Now, back to the dough. Use palm of your hands and roll the dough into a thick, even log. Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces with knife or dough scraper. (It's easier to cut even pieces when the dough is not round). Roll each piece with your hands to stretch into a long 1 1/2" thick rope. Try not to just stretch it out by pulling, the dough will break. Easiest way is to place dough on counter and roll back and forth with palms of hands, starting in the middle and hands move out which stretching the dough a bit. Don't worry about getting it to look pretty, just try to get each piece even sized.
Time to add the Nutella. Take one piece of dough. Use side of your hand to press and create an indent in the middle of the strand. Spread about 1 1/2 tbl of Nutella in this indent.
Bring up the sides of the dough, encasing the Nutella and pinch dough closed. Repeat with other strands. It's a bit messy and next time I'll try and make deeper, wider holes so less Nutella squirts out the top.
Pinch it up!
Time to braid. Start in the middle and braid. Pinch ends, tuck under. Now braid the other side, pinch and tuck. Start braid from the middle (instead of top) so that it tapers evenly at both ends.
Cover with towel and let rest for 1-1/2 hours. 20 minutes prior to baking, preheat your oven to 350F. When dough is ready, brush top with egg wash and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Bake for 25 minutes.
It's as good as it looks!