Mirj's Ultra-Rich Sweet Challah

Recipe by Mirj2338
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READY IN: 3hrs 40mins
YIELD: 3 loaves
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • In the bowl of your mixer, or in large bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, eggs, salt and vanilla.
  • Mix it around a bit.
  • Melt the margarine, or heat the oil a bit in the microwave.
  • Add it to the stuff in the bowl and start mixing.
  • Toss in the yeast, keep mixing.
  • If you are using an electric mixer, go slowly.
  • If you are kneading by hand, you should get a good workout.
  • Heat the soy milk until it's warm.
  • It should not be boiling hot!
  • Slowly, with the mixer running, add the soy milk a little bit at a time, until the dough has reached the consistency of bread dough.
  • It shouldn't be cakey and it shouldn't be too sticky.
  • Knead the dough in the mixer for about 7-8 minutes, or by hand for about 15 minutes.
  • Place the bowl in a warm spot and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk.
  • Hint: if you put the bowl of dough in the microwave and nuke it on high for 10 seconds it will speed up the rising process.
  • You can also let it rise overnight in the fridge, just keep it in a knotted plastic bag so it doesn't"escape".
  • When the dough has risen and doubled, punch it down.
  • It's a very satisfying step!
  • Knead the dough by hand for another minute or so to work out the air bubbles.
  • Cut into three even pieces.
  • Each piece is enough for one small loaf of challah.
  • Cut each piece into three or four, roll into ropes and braid.
  • The best braids are made by starting in the middle and working your way to the end, then turn it around and braid the other end.
  • Pinch off the ends.
  • After you have shaped your loaf (you can also swirl it, or braid and swirl it, or just shape it into a natural loaf shape), place it either in a greased loaf pan, cake pan, or just on a greased cookie sheet.
  • If you bake your loaf on a sheet it will spread a bit as it rises again.
  • If you put your braided loaf into a loaf tin, it will just rise upwards.
  • I have also made round challahs by putting them into bundt pans, or fluted round cake pans.
  • Let the shaped loaves rise for another half an hour.
  • You can brush a little beaten egg on the tops for a glaze, I prefer my challahs"naked".
  • Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C (about 350 F).
  • Bake the loaves for about 30-40 minutes.
  • Time will vary based on the shape of your loaves and the pans they are in.
  • If the tops start to brown too soon, just place a sheet of silver foil over them, resting lightly on the tops.
  • The challah is done when you turn out the loaf, give it a knock-knock on the bottom and it sounds hollow.
  • Let it cool.
  • If this recipe makes too much for you, you can either freeze the dough, or the baked challahs.
  • Best eaten with sweet butter, also makes the most amazing French toast.
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