The five-braid loaf was a bit trickier, and I actually messed it up the first time so badly that I had to wad it all up and start it over again. The problem was that I'd made the initial braids too large, and with the general tackiness of the dough, it was impossible to get it unwoven.
|All five ropes|
|After the first weave|
|All braided together|
|The three-braid loaf|
|Cross-section of the three-braid loaf|
|The five-braid loaf|
Future challahs will be done a little differently. First, I'll cut the recipe in half; while this bread will keep for quite some time, there's too much of it for me and my wife to eat. Second, the loaves will be a bit smaller. Third, I plan to practice my bread-braiding skills some more so as to minimize bulges, doglegs to the left, and thumb-tips at the end. But overall, I'm really pleased with the results. It's a very good bread, and I feel a certain sense of not only accomplishment in making it, but renewed connection to my Jewish faith and culture.