How to Braid a 6 Strand Challah Bread | Easier than you think!
Looking to create an impressive challah bread that will evoke oohs and aahs at the dinner table? Then it's time to try out a 6-strand braid.
Let go of the little voice in your head that says it's too complicated. You can do this! Hadassah Sabo Milner was my guru in getting me through a 6-strand braid with no complications and no stress.
Watch her excellent 3 minute video tutorial a couple of times and then follow my instructions below.
The magic is in the mantra: Over two, under one, over two.
Repeat that aloud a couple of times. Then practice the braid (until you feel confident) with 6 strands of ribbon, repeating the mantra aloud as you go.
Then take a deep breath.... and go for it with the dough, saying the mantra aloud as you go. Don't rush it. Enjoy the process. Slow and steady will get you there.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Transfer dough onto a floured surface and fold it a few times to create a rectangular shape about 6 x 3 inches.
- With a dough scraper/ bench knife, cut the dough into six evenly sized pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten it with your palm.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the flattened ball into a disk about about a 1/4 inch thick.
- Using your finger tips, roll the disk up into a log. (much like rolling up a carpet).
- Using the palms of both your hands and gentle pressure, roll each log back and forth on the counter to remove the seam and elongate it, until the log becomes a strand 10-12" long.
- The strand should be slightly fat in the center and tapered at the ends to give the challah a beautiful shape.
- To taper the ends of the strands, pick up an end of the strand off the counter and roll it gently between your palms to elongate the end further.
- Lay the 6 strands out vertically (in a teepee shape).
- Pinch all the strands together at the top
- Start to braid the strands starting from the right.
- Follow the mantra: "Over two, under one, over two".
- Once the end is reached, tuck the end of the braid under.
- Turn, the braid around so that the top of the braid is now at the bottom. Undo a couple of inches of the originally pinched strands and following the same mantra, re-braid the strands to the end and tuck under. This gives a nice, neat shape.
- Using both hands, squish the challah firmly, first from top to bottom and then from side to side to form a nice compact rectangular shape.
And there you go! A real beauty....