Dough shaping technique – how to braid a 4 strand challah bread.
- Divide your dough into 4 equally sized pieces and preshape them into short rough log shapes.
- On a minimally floured counter roll each piece of dough out into a long log shape with tapered ends that is about 18 inches long. Do this by starting in the center and then moving your hands out in a rocking motion to elongate the piece of dough.
- Place the pieces in front of you vertically and kind of fanned out with the ends farthest from you lightly pinched together.
- Starting on you left hand side number the positions of the dough strands as 1, 2, 3, 4. The dough strands will move, but the positions on the board will remain the same.
- Starting with strand 4 cross it over strand 2, then cross strand 1 over 3, followed by 2 over 3. Repeat as many times as needed to get to the end. Don’t be tempted to try to get too many repeats when you get to the end, otherwise you will have a lopsided loaf that is fat on one end and really narrow on the other.