Need a good challah recipe?
I've tried a lot of recipes and this is my favorite. I like to double it and put two loaves in the freezer for the next week. If you'd like to try freezing them, I'll include those directions at the end of the recipe.
1 T active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
3/4 cups sugar
9 cups flour
2 T salt
poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)
1 additional egg for the glaze
1. In large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the sugar and oil and mix well with a whisk or wooden spoon. Beat in four of the eggs and gradually stir in 8 cups of flour and salt. When you have a dough that holds together well, it's ready for kneading. Kneed about 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface. You can work in up to another 1 - 1 1/2 cups of flour as needed Better yet, get the troops in the kitchen and give them each a ball of dough and let them go to town. (The dough should be smooth and elastic at this point).
2. Place the dough in a large, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place for about an hour, until it's about doubled it's size.
3. Remove it from the bowl and punch it down. Be rough! The dough loves it!
4. Return to bowl and let it rise again for 30 minutes more.
5. Take it out of the bowl and make six equal balls of dough. Make each ball into a rope about 14 inches long. Pinch three together on one end and braid. Do it again for the second loaf.
6. Let the challah loaves rise another hour, uncovered. Fifteen minutes before putting the loaves in the oven, beat the remaining egg and brush it gently over them. Five minutes later, brush them again. Sprinkle with the seeds.
7. Preheat the oven to 375 and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove and cool on a rack.
To Freeze: Stop at #5. After braiding your bread, but before letting it rise again, double wrap it in plastic wrap and place on a cookie sheet in the freezer. When you are ready to use it, take it out 5 hours before you want to glaze and bake.
Oh! And it makes fabulous french toast the next day (this is from a round loaf, just braided and twisted in to a circle for Rosh Hashana)...
Or try a regular braided challah as sub sandwich bread. Your children will love it.