Just in time for Shabbat, I have finally found a challah recipe that I love! You can find the original version here but I have modified it a little for myself.
- 2 1/2 cups of warm water
- 1 tbsp of active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1-2 tbsp of honey for the egg wash
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp salt
- 8 cups of all-purpose flour (and more for flouring surface/cutting board)
- 1 tbsp of poppy seeds or sesame seeds (optional)
- In a large bowl/stand mixer, mix in yeast with warm water
- Beat in 2 eggs, oil, honey, and salt
- Add 1 cup of flower at a time until all 8 cups are incorporated.Knead by hand as necessary until dough is smooth and elastic, but not sticky
- Cover with clean,d amp cloth and let ride for 1.5 hours. Dough should double in size
- Punch down dough and roll out onto floured board or counter
- Divide into quarters
- Roll/knead each section for about 5 minutes, flouring as necessary to keep from getting sticky
- Working with one quarter at a time, divide into thirds and roll out into long, snakes. Each snake should be the same length and diameter.
- Braid snakes. I found it easiest (and prettiest) to start braiding them without connecting them at first, but going back to the top after I finished braiding them all the way down. If you’d like to make round challot, bring the edges together before pinching them
- Grease baking sheets (or put parchment paper down) and let the challot rest on sheets
- Cover with towel and let rise for 1 hour
- Preheat oven to 375*F (190*C)
- Beat remaining egg with about 1-2 tbsp of honey and brush a generous amount over each challah
- If desired: sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds
- Bake for 40 minutes (should sound hollow when thumped on bottom)
- Cool before slicing
After 20 or so minutes, you can cover the challot with aluminum foil to prevent them from browning too much.
For Rosh Hashanah I’m going to roll apple chunks in it and see if it works out better than the last time I tried it. I used a different recipe which ended up being too sticky and didn’t end up cooking all the way through. Might add some cinnamon too. Yummm!