Ingredients for bread dough:
¾ cup warm milk (75 to 85 degrees)
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup sugar
1 ¼ teaspoon dry yeast
2 cups bread flour, unbleached
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup raisins
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ cup almonds, roasted and sprinkled with a little sugar and cinnamon.
Follow the instructions in the book,’Local Breads’ by Daniel Leader, page 315 or do as I did:
Put the dough ingredients in order and mix in a stand mixer for 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky, (don’t add extra flour). Keep mixing until the dough forms a ball and then add the raisins a little at a time until they evenly get distributed. Let the dough rise in an oiled 2-quart bowl for about 1-1 ½ hours. Shape the dough into a 3 or 6 strand braid bread and put on a greased baking sheet, or one lined with parchment paper. Let rise for about 30 minutes. Just before you put in the oven, brush with the egg wash and put the almonds on top.
There is a good video on this web site for the 6 strand braids: http://www.expertvillage.com/video/20046_challah-bread-six-strands.htm