I get a lot of questions about braiding challah bread, so I thought it would be fun to start explaining the different ways I braid and weave it! Today I’ll explain how I make a round basket weave challah. Basically, it’s a criss-cross pattern that looks like a woven basket!
You will want to begin with your favorite challah recipe and prepare the dough as usual. Once it has been kneaded and risen for the first time, divide the dough into four sections. You will be able to make about four medium-sized round basket weave challahs with one batch of dough.
Take one of the four dough sections and set the other three aside. Cut the chosen section into four pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and place two pieces horizontally and parallel on the surface you plain to use.
Take the other two ropes of dough and place one diagonally under and over the the horizontal ropes. The second rope should also go diagonally, but over and under the horizontal ropes.
At this point your challah dough should like the picture below.
Depending on how long your ropes are, you may do this next step a few times: take each rope that is under another rope and cross it clockwise over the rope next to it.
Your challah should now look like the photo below.
Once you have woven your ropes, gently pick up the loaf and tuck the ends under it. It should now look like the photo below.
Place your finished basket weave onto a piece of parchment paper and repeat the process with the other three sections of dough.
Place a dishtowel over your challahs and let them rise until puffy, around another hour. Brush with whisked egg white, sprinkle with sea salt, and bake until golden on top and 190 degrees inside with a thermometer–about 12-15 minutes.
Cool and enjoy your beautiful challah!