Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 25 mins
This is an easy recipe that I adapted from a cookbook. I added more sugar, adjusted some of the other ingredients and made a few procedural updates and shrunk the recipe to fit in a 5-quart mixer. This is a recipe that I really love, and I try to have my own homemade challah (almost) every Shabbos. Tinker with the recipe yourself; I like very sweet, doughy challah, while you might prefer a more-baked, less-sweet version.
- Put 3/4 cups of very warm water in a bowl. Add 1/8 cups of sugar and then the 1.5 T of dry yeast. Cover the bowl and set aside for 8-10 minutes to allow the yeast to proof.
- In an electric mixer (5-quart) mix the following ingredients: 1/2 cup of canola oil, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of warm water, 1/2 T of salt, and 4 cups of flour. Mix until a thin mixture forms.
- When the yeast mixture bubbles, add it to the other ingredients and mix. Then, begin to add the remaining 4 cups of flour in 1/2-1 cup increments. Add water in 1/4 cup intervals until the dough is smooth and only slightly sticky.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl with a greased spatula and make sure that all of the ingredients are mixed inches.
- Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the dough to rise for 10 minutes.
- If you are going to shape and bake your challahs immediately, cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow it to rise for 1 hour. If you are going to shape later (or the next day), place the dough into Zip-Loc bags lined with a little canola oil and refrigerate. (Remember that the dough will double in size, so leave enough room!) Remove the dough from the refrigerator 45 minutes prior to shaping.
- When you are ready to shape, grease your hands and the workspace with a little canola oil. Stack two baking trays on top of eachother and line the top with parchment paper (doubling up the baking trays prevents the bottom of the challahs from burning). Then, shape the challahs (be careful not to overwork the challah). If the dough is too sticky, use oil (don't use flour). Place the finished challahs on the baking sheet.
- Cover the challahs loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest. Mix an egg glaze (mix 1 egg and some canola oil together). Preheat the oven to 350. When the oven reaches the temperature, brush the challahs gently with the egg glaze as evenly as possible. Place the challahs in the oven to bake.
- After about 20 minutes, begin to check on the challahs. Take them out as soon as they are golden brown.
- Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. When they are cool, pack them in plastic bags. You can also freeze them, by placing them in Zip-Loc bags.
- Enjoy your challahs and have a beautiful Shabbos!