It is important to follow the instructions for kneading and rising times – it really does make a difference in the quality of the dough. The time ‘lost’ during the kneading stage is gained back during rising and the dough is easier to work with and more reliable – there used to be incidents where the challas ‘collapsed’ as I put them into the oven but no more!
- 5 lbs. high gluten flour
- 4 1/2 C. lukewarm water
- 4 eggs + 1 to spread on top
- 1 C. sugar
- 1 C. oil
- 3 heaping Tbsp. yeast
- 2 Tbsp. salt
- In the large mixing bowl of an electric mixer place the water, yeast and 1-2 tbsp. sugar.
- In a small bowl whisk the eggs and the oil. Make sure that the yeast started foaming and then add egg mixture to the large bowl.
- Add the rest of the sugar and the flour.
- Knead on low speed for 3 minutes – just until all the ingredients are incorporated.
- Cover and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
- Add the salt, knead for another 5 minutes.
- Spray a large bowl with Pam spray to coat, transfer dough to bowl. Turn the dough over to make sure it is well coated with the oil. Cover with Saran wrap and let dough rise in a warm place for an hour.
- Punch dough down and separate Challah.
- Braid into loafs and place them into greased baking pans or on a baking sheet, leaving enough room for rising.
- Cover with Saran wrap. Let challahs rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours.
- Whisk an egg with a sprinkle of salt. Brush challahs with egg, decorate with sesame/poppy seeds if desired.
- Put challahs in a cold oven. Turn oven to 350º. Bake for about 45 minutes until challah gets the right color.
- If the challah was baked in pans pop out of the pan. Let cool on cooling rack.
Recipe for 2 challas
Sometimes all you need is 2 challas or don’t have the time to make more. In that case you can use my small scale recipe. I get very good results with my bread machine, of course a regular mixer can also be used.
- 1 1/4 C. lukewarm water
- 1/4 C. sugar
- 1/4 C. oil
- 2 eggs + 1 yolk (keep the egg white to spread on challah before baking)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 5 C. high gluten flour
- 1 Tbsp. yeast
If you use a bread machine you should put the ingredients – in the above order – in the bowl and turn the machine on dough cycle. Once the dough is ready proceed as above. If you use a mixer you can follow the instructions above. Challah separation is not required.