This is a no-knead challah bread adapted from my book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. You can bake one for yourself and gift the other to a friend or loved one. The recipe is easily halved or doubled.
Mixing and storing the dough: Mix the yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter, with the water in a 4-quart bowl or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
Mix in the ﬂour using a spoon, Danish dough whisk, or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises, approximately 2 hours.
The dough can be used immediately after the rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate the container of dough and use over the next 48 hours. Or freeze in 1-pound for up to 3 weeks.
To bake: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with ﬂour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece. Divide the dough into three equal pieces. Dust the pieces of dough with more ﬂour and gently roll and stretch the dough until you have a long rope about 3⁄4 inch thick. If the dough resists your efforts, let it sit, covered in plastic, for several minutes.
Braiding: Line up the three strands and connect them at the top. Pull the left strand over the center strand and lay it down, so it becomes the one in the center. Pull the right strand over the center strand and lay it down, so it now becomes the center. Repeat left and right until you get to the bottom. Pinch the ends together.
Place on the prepared baking sheet, cover with plastic and allow to rest for 90 minutes. It should rise slightly, but don’t worry if it doesn’t double in size.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown, and the center of the loaf is set.
*if the eggs are cold it will take longer for the dough to rise.