Ok, dear friends,
here is my challah recipe,
as given to me by my father.
Ingredients (Makes 2 loaves)
Group A: 2 Tbsp yeast
4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup honey
1 3/4 cup hot water
Group B: 2 cups all-purpose flour
Group C: 1 1/4 cup canola oil
3 eggs (lightly whisked)
Group D: 5-6 cups all-purpose flour
Group E: 1 egg (for wash)
(I prefer to to this by hand/fork/wooden spoon.)
Mix together Group A & let sit for about 5 minutes.
Mix in Group B until incorporated, then stir in Group C.
Start adding flour from Group D to mixture 1 cup at a time until
it forms a sticky dough.
Start kneading the dough in the bowl (you can turn it out
onto a floured surface if that is easier for you), adding flour as needed
until dough becomes an elastic ball.
Cover & let dough rise in a large bowl until doubled.
Divide dough into 6 equal portions & roll into smooth strands/snakes
about 12 inches long. (Just like playing with Play-Doh!)
Take 3 strands & place them parallel to each other
& vertically to you |||
Start your braid in the middle of the strand.
I know it sounds weird, but it will make the braid
more even & your loaves will turn out much better!
Starting in the middle, braid one side of loaf & then the other.
Tuck ends under the loaf.
Repeat with second set of 3 dough strands.
Place braided dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper,
cover and let rise until doubled again.
Whisk 3 eggs from Group E & brush onto the doubled loaves,
covering as much as possible of the tops & sides.
Position oven rack in the middle of the oven & bake for approximately
50 minutes at 350 degrees.
This will vary according to your oven, so be sure to
check on the bread while baking.
I typically rotate the pan for more even baking.
When done, the top should be golden brown (not too dark).
This bread is definitely time intensive,
but so delicious that it is absolutely worth it!
(If you want to cut down on time,
quick-rise yeast works just fine for this.)
I hope you enjoy and let me know if you have any questions!