" Jerry Maguire" You Had Me at Hallah

How is it possible for something this simple to taste this good? If you've never baked homemade bread, here's where you start!


  • 1/2 cup plus 2/3 cup lukewarm water (100°F to 110°F)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons or 2 envelopes active dry yeast
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 7-8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large or 2 small egg yolks mixed with 1 tablespoon milk


  1. In a measuring cup, combine 1/2-cup warm water and 2 tablespoons sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle yeast over the sugar water and let sit about 15 minutes, until bubbly and fragrant.

  2. In the work bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk together the 5 eggs. Add vegetable oil, salt and 1/2 cup sugar; beat 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened. Beat in the remaining 2/3-cup warm water followed by the yeast-sugar mixture.

  3. Fit mixer with dough hook and run on medium speed, adding the flour 1-cup at a time. Be sure to work in the flour well after each addition. Continue kneading the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Turn out onto a clean, lightly floured surface, and knead by hand a few minutes. Add just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking.

  4. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free area. Let rise until doubled in size (45 minutes to an hour).

  5. Punch down dough. Re-cover and allow the dough to rise again (20-30 minutes). Grease two baking sheets.

  6. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Equally divide each piece into 3 balls. Using both hands, roll each piece back and forth into 9-inch-long ropes, tapering the ends. Braid together 3 of the ropes into a double crossed loaf, pinching the ends together and tucking under to seal; repeat with remaining ropes.

  7. Arrange the loaves on the baking sheets, cover with a clean towel and allow to rise at least 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  8. Brush loaves well with the egg and milk mixture. Bake the bread in the oven until golden, about 30-40 minutes.

Makes: 2 Large Loaves

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