Recipe by Kerri Stern
This recipe came from a lot of trial and error. It was the first major thing I learned to cook on my own, so I'm pretty proud of it. I use it for a traditional Shabbos meal, but its good anytime. Most of the prep time is from the dough needing to rise. It's actually very easy to make.
- 3 1⁄2 packages yeast
- 1 3⁄4 cups warm water, dividied
- 3⁄4 cup sugar, plus
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 6 cups bread flour
- 3 extra large eggs, plus
- 1 egg yolk
- 1⁄2 cup corn oil or 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
Directions See How It's Made
- This recipe works best in a big mixer, but can be done by hand.
- I've never tried it in a bread machine.
- In a separate bowl, proof yeast by mixing with with 3/4 cup of warm water (follow temperature guide on package) and 1T sugar.
- It should double in size.
- While yeast is proofing, put dry ingredients into mixing bowl.
- Wait for the yeast to be ready to add eggs, oil, 1 C warm water, and the yeast mixture.
- Mix on lowest setting for about a minute then increase slightly to reccommended setting for bread.
- Mix for 10- 15 minutes adding flour if needed.
- Dough should be sticky, but pull away from sides of bowl.
- Leave dough in the same bowl to rise, and cover with a damp cloth.
- Keep it someplace warm, I like to run the dishwasher at the same time and put the bowl on top.
- Let it rise for 1 1/2- 2 hours, until double in size.
- When dough is doubled, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead by hand a little.
- Oil 2 large loaf pans well, this bread tends to stick.
- divide the dough in half.
- You can braid it like traditional challah, or just form into a loaf shape and put it into the pan.
- To braid it divide each half into three pieces and roll each into a rope.
- Pinch the ends of three ropes together and alternate crossing the sides over the middle.
- Pinch the ends together and place in loaf pan.
- Brush the top with a beaten egg.
- You can also top with sesame or poppy seeds.
- Bake for 1/2- 3/4 hour at 350 degrees.
- Bread should be medium brown and should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Let cool on a cake rack.
- This challah freezes very well if wrapped tightly.
- It tastes great warm.