American Pistachio Challah (Sweet Egg Bread)

50 breads @ 345 g (12 oz) with three pieces of dough at 115 g (4 oz) each.
Batter g/ml lbs./oz Baker's % Yield % Notes
Flour, High Gluten 10000 g 22 lbs 100.00 % 52.11 %
Olive oil, extra virgin 1500 ml g 3 lbs 15.00 % 7.82 %
Water 3600 ml 7 lbs 15 oz 36.00 % 18.76 %
Yeast, compressed 300 g 10.5 oz 3.00 % 1.56 %
Eggs, whole 1500 ml 3 lbs 6 oz 15.00 % 7.82 %
Salt, sea 240 g 8.5 oz 2.40 % 1.25 %
Dough conditioner 150 g 5.5 oz 1.50 % 0.78 % optional
Sugar, granulated 400 g 14 oz 4.00 % 2.08 %
American Pistachios 1500 g 3 lbs 5 oz 15.00 % 7.82 % roasted, chopped
Total 19190 g 42 lbs 1 oz 191.90 % 100.00 %


• Combine all ingredients, in a large mixing bowl except the American Pistachios. With dough hook mix on first gear for three minutes (pick-up stage). Stop the mixer and put gearshift into neutral. Scrape down the side of the bowl and check the dough consistency. Be prepared to add additional water to yield dough of proper consistency. Restart in third gear and mix for additional seven minutes. Return to first speed and add the American Pistachios. Mix until fully incorporated. Lightly oil the surface of a workbench and place the dough onto the surface. After mixing the dough temperature will ideally be 24°C (76°F). Cover to prevent the dough from drying out. Bench rest for 10 minutes. Punch the dough down and fold the dough over to release the gases and supply the yeast with new food. Bench rest additional 10 minutes.

• Divide into 115 g (4 oz) pieces, round and cover. After 10 minutes bench rest, shape the dough pieces like a baguette, alternately forming and resting, to a length of approximately 12 inches (30 cm.). At this point braid the dough pieces into different braids. Place on a sheet pan, lined with parchment paper, and lightly egg wash.

• Proof at low humidity 30-35°C (88-95° F) for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until doubled in size. Egg wash again and if desired top with sesame seed, poppy seed, flaked almonds or rock sugar. Bake at 180°C (356°F) with no steam (damper closed). Baking is considered completed, when the temperature of the loaf center reaches its maximum of about 82ºC (180ºF). Baking times and temperatures will vary depending on your equipment. Any changes in the temperature must be accompanied by proper adjustments in the baking time; thus an increase in temperature requires a decrease in baking time. Cool the loaves on a cooling rack to avoid moisture condensation on the bottom of the loaves, until an internal temperature of 32ºC-38ºC (90ºF-100ºF) is determined, before slicing and/or wrapping the bread.


• Challah bread is festive looking bread, original baked by Jewish families to grace the Sabbath (Friday) or holiday table. It is a centerpiece of a Sunday dinner and appears on the Easter table. Challah means portion and the bread is broken into pieces instead of slicing it and shared with friends.

• Glazing the braids a second time before baking will give a great finish look after baking.

• In order to call a product “egg bread” it must contain at least one medium-sized egg per pound of bread, or 2.56% dried whole eggs in the finished product (about 4 kg (4lbs.) dried whole eggs per 100 kg (100lbs.) flour) The standard of Identity for egg bread is published in the Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 136. A high amount of eggs tend to produce a tough crumb with dry mouth feel.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!