- 1/3 cup warm water (110-115° F.)
- 1 package dry yeast (1 tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour (20 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons sugar or honey
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup oil
- 2 eggs plus enough water to make 1 cup total
- Stir together the sugar, yeast, and water. Let stand for 5-10 minutes.
To make by hand or with heavy mixer:
- Break eggs into 1 cup glass measure. Add warm water to 1 cup line. Empty this into large bowl. Add oil. Whisk together.
- Add the rest of the sugar and approximately 1/3 of the flour. Mix together well.
- Add yeast mixture and beat for about 2 minutes.
- Combine salt with remaining flour. Add about 1/2 of the flour and stir until flour is worked in.
- Set aside 1/2 cup of remaining flour.
- Gradually add the rest of the flour, working in as best you can.
- Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of flour you set aside onto counter top.
- Turn out dough mixture and knead for about 10 minutes. (Set a timer -- you will never believe how long 10 minutes takes when you are hand-kneading dough!)
Note: Challah dough should be quite soft -- not sticking to your hands but almost doing so. The 1/2 cup of flour will be worked into the dough when you finish. If you must, work in a little extra flour, but no more than essential to have dough that can be handled.
To make with heavy-duty food processor:
- Fit dough blade in work bowl. Add all of the flour, salt and sugar. Pulse to combine.
- Break eggs into a 2 cup glass measure and add cold water to 1 cup line.
- Add 1/3 cup oil. Whisk together in cup to break up eggs.
- Turn processor on and pour the yeast mixture in through the small feed tube, then continue running the machine as you pour in the cold water-egg-oil mixture in a steady stream.
- Mix until dough forms a ball and cleans the side of the bowl.
Note: Challah dough should be quite soft--almost clinging to the sides of the workbowl, but not really sticking. (If it is sticking, add flour as machine runs, by the tablespoon, until the ball will revolve.) Continue processing for 60 seconds to knead.
- To finish, both methods: Remove the dough to an oiled bowl or a zip-top bag. Cover bowl with oiled plastic wrap or zip bag shut. Let rise in a warm place (75-85° F) until doubled. Time will vary, depending on room temperature, from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.
- Spray an area of your counter top where you wish to shape bread. Empty dough out gently (don’t punch down). Form dough into a long narrow shape about 15-18” long. Place this on oiled baking sheet. With knife or scissors, cut dough into 3 long pieces for braiding. Start braiding in the middle and work to both ends. Punch each end and tuck under loaf. Cover loosely with oiled wrap and set aside to rise until doubled. Preheat oven to 375° F. before dough has fully doubled.
- Whisk glaze together: 1 egg, 1-teaspoon water, pinch salt. When dough has doubled, brush on glaze. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in lower third of oven for 20 minutes, then lower temperature to 350° F. and bake 10-15 minutes longer, until loaf is golden. Cool on rack.
Submitted by: Bandecoot