There are thousands of recipes for making Challah. Challah is a braided bread. I recently started watching a wonderful cooking show on the internet called Jamie Geller’s Joy of Kosher.com. You should check it out. She is amazing!
I wanted to make her recipe for Challah this Shabbat (my husband does not like the one I make) hahahahaha
Now, you can go to her site to get the original but here is my take on what she did.
It takes about 4 hours total to make this Challah from start to finish so make sure you start early enough in the day so that you are not going over your time. It is best to make it on Thursday, but I like my loaf to be fresh so I am daring. :).
This is going to make about 4 challahs so you can adjust it according to your family size and guest. I made it just as she did only because she gave some really great ideas of what to do with the dough.
Next you will need a very large bowl ( I did not know this and used one that was too small). In this very large bowl you will add 4 tablespoons of kosher salt, 6 pounds of flour ( if you can only find a 5 pound bag, get two). There are 3.4 cups of flour to a pound so do the math :). I think it was about 20 cups or so.
Next you add 2 cups of sugar and next you add 4 egg yolks. Don’t make the mistake I did and add 6. Oppps Lets see how it comes out with 6. 😦 *now it when I turn on my oven to preheat at 375, it also gives me a nice place to set my dough to rise*
Next make a well, ( whole in the middle of the flour mixture) and add the yeast, than add 4 more cups of lukewarm water. Now comes the fun park, right? Kneed your dough in the bowl while adding 1 cup of oil (a little at a time) (if you bowl is not big enough, as obviously mine was not) kneed it on the bread board. You want to do this for 10 minuets and then let it rest. Then come back and kneed it for another 15 minuets or so adding the rest of the oil as you do. *your dough should not be sticky*
loosely cover the dough with a towel large enough to cover the entire bowel. Like her, I also cover mine with a trash bag. 🙂 Place this in a warm spot and let it rise for an hour. *I also like to keep my house temp. at 75 just to be sure it is warm enough for the dough* After an hour punch down the dough and kneed it with lightly oiled hands to release air bubbles. *it should have become double in size*
Cover the dough again with the towel and the bag and let it rise for another hour or more. Now your dough should be perfect…..
Lightly oil your hands and punch it down again. Use a very sharp knife to divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Spray 4 9-inch baking pans with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. *this is to bake your bread*.
Now you are ready to make your ropes for your challah. This is up to you how many ropes you want but for this post I did 6 ropes. I also us my counter and not my bread board at this point, it gives me more space. With oiled hands I take a piece of dough and play with it to get rid of all the air bubbles then I roll the dough into a long, thick rope, repeat this for the next rope until you have your desired amount. Now for the braiding. I suggest you watch her video for this part. It is simple but hard. Once you have the dough ready brush the challahs with one or two beaten eggs and sprinkle with anything you like on your bread. Bake it for 10 minutes at 375 then lower your temperature to 350 if you want it crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until challah tops are dark golden brown, don’t burn it. 🙂
All your challahs to cool slightly before serving. She also noted that once your challah has been sliced you can then store what is leftover in sealable plastic bags for up to 5 days. * it never last that long in my house* 🙂