Sponge Started Challah Bread - Kosher

READY IN: 6hrs 30mins
SERVES: 32
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • SPONGE:
  • 1. In the bottom of an electric mixing bowl, mix first 4 ingredients together in order of appearance.
  • 2. Add only 1 cup of flour to yeast liquid, lightly mixing with a rubber spatula.
  • 3. Sprinkle Remaining 1 cup of flour over mixture and set aside.
  • 4. Let rise (in cool oven or other dry room temperature place) for 30min.
  • When cracks form in flour, your yeast is doing it's job!
  • DOUGH:
  • 1. On top of the sponge, layer next 4 ingredients in bowl. Make sure salt does not touch yeast mixture.
  • 2. STIR in mixer until everything is incorporated (1min) and then MIX on medium until dough begins to ball up.
  • This takes 6-8min. If you have to add the 1/4 water, do it a table room at a time (I use a spray bottle) and mix for 1 min, then let it rest of 1 min to let the water soak up.
  • The dough should pull away from sides of bowl, not be too tacky, and be elastic.
  • 3. Turn out dough (you may not need ANY flour for this) and kned by hand into a round ball (only 4-6 strokes).
  • 4. Spray mixing bowl with PAM (or butter) and place dough ball in bowl.
  • 5. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until ABOUT double (1 1/2 - 2 hours).
  • 6. Gently deflate and repeat rise a second time.
  • 7. Deflate again and tun out onto counter, again, you probably won't need flour, it's a really tight dough!
  • 8. Divide dough in 1/2 and work each half into desired shape.
  • 9. Cover and let rise a THIRD time (double, 1.5-2 hours).
  • Topping:
  • 1. Mix egg yolk and water.
  • 2. Brush GENTLY on top of loaf (do not deflate).
  • 3. Sprinkle seeds (if desired).
  • BAKE: place in PREHEATED 400 degree oven, then immediately turn heat down to 350 (325 convection) and bake for about 30min. Bread will sound hollow and thermometer will read 190- 200 (it will coast up to 205).
  • REMOVE from oven and let cool before taking out of pan -- ENJOY!
  • You can FREEZE dough (up to one month) after 2nd rise by wrapping air tight. Let it thaw out overnight in the fridge and them shape, rise, bake - a GREAT way to get the prep work done ahead of time and always have fresh baked bread!
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