Our Favorite Challah Recipe
My mom makes Challah every Preparation Day(friday). Sometimes I help her but, often I'm cleaning and doing school work. But, I will usually take a break and braid a small loaf of my own. Anyway, here is our favorite Challah recipe and we hope you like it!!!
Mom & Autumn
CHALLAH:(looks harder than it really is~try it!)
#1. In a small bowl add 1/2 cup 110 degree water and 2 1/2 Tablespoons of yeast (set aside between 5 to 10 minutes to proof).
#2. In a large bowl add 1 1/2 cups 110 degree water, 1 Tablespoon salt, 1/4 cup oil, 1/2 cup honey and 3 beaten eggs.
#3. By this time your yeast should be proofed(foamy)Pour it into the large bowl (with the ingredients from #2)add first 3 cups of flour ~mix on low speed 5 minutes until smooth(stopping the mixer to scrape down flour from sides of bowl when necessary).
#4. Add approximately 3 more cups of flour one cup at a time VERY GRADUALLY to mixer(mix slowly, turning on and off mixer to scrape sides from time to time, then start mixing again)do this until a ball form and flour pulls away from sides
(NOTE:flour amounts will depend on the humidity in your area we live in a very humid area, in the past I have added as many as 6 cups at this stage. So, the BEST INDICATOR really is by the way it LOOKS and FEELS. You want it to be smooth, not sticky and not too dry, you should be able to touch it without it sticking to your fingers).
#5. Kneed 10 to 15 minutes at medium speed, or by hand. you can sprinkle VERY small amounts of flour if the dough starts to get sticky again( I find the longer you kneed the softer the bread).
#6. Cover mixing bowl with lightly oiled plastic wrap, then place in a nice warm spot to rise 45 minutes to an hour(until doubled).
#7. Punch down, then cut into two lumps(if you have children cut some dough off and let them play with it or shape it into their own loaves).
#8. One lump at a time, divide into 3 pieces and braid(or you can get a little fancy and do four pieces, weaving them- over under over under/ or six pieces and weave over two under one over two).
#9. Place braid loaves on baking sheets/ I usually use two cookie sheets because these are very large loaves~ cover again with lightly oiled plastic wrap, set in a warm spot to rise another 30 minutes.
#10.Make an egg wash(break an egg in a bowl and beat it) very lightly brush the loaves with a pastry brush, sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds.
#11.Place loaves into a preheated oven(350 degrees)bake for 20-30 minutes(these times will vary depending on ovens and altitude)to know whether or not it is done~ the Challah should be a beautiful golden brown color and sound hallow when you tap on the bottom of the loaf.
#12.Cool loaves on wire racks.
(Note from Mom- I hope you enjoy this recipe! here is a little Hebrew blessing we say before enjoying our bread~ Blessed are You, Oh LORD(YHVH) our EL, King of the Universe, who has brought forth bread from the earth, Amien!)