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+ servings

Challah

Prep Time 3 hrs
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 25 mins
Course Pane
Cuisine Jewish
Servings 15

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups warm water
  • 2 cubes of fresh yeast or 2 packets of dehydrated granular yeast
  • 1 cup light seed oil like sunflower or canola
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 kg flour
  • 2 egg yolks to brush the bread
  • sesame or poppy seeds as a garnish for the bread

Instructions
 

  • Dissolve the yeast in a large bowl with warm water (not boiling!). Let it rest for a few minutes to reactivate the yeast, particularly if you use dry granular yeast.
  • Add sugar, oil, salt, and eggs to the bowl, then mix everything together; now add the flour, but slowly, two cups at a time, because it is not said that you will want to use it all. You will use about 2 kg, but perhaps even a little less, depending on weather conditions, and many other unpredictable factors.
  • When the dough becomes compact and no longer sticks to your hands, knead it well on a floured surface for ten minutes, then transfer it to a lightly greased bowl and let it rise for at least one hour (even two, if you wish) covered with a damp cloth until it doubles.
  • Once the mixture is well leavened, shape it (and if you do the hafrashat – I am talking to Jewish readers! – remember to take the part of dough required!). A simple braid with three rolls, like braided hair, is easily accomplished, looks great, and with this mixture if you can make 8.
  • Put the bread braids on baking pans covered with parchment paper, allow them to leaven for another half an hour.
  • Once fully leavened, brush the challot with 2 yolks diluted in a little water, and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, then bake in a preheated oven at 200°.
  • Cook the challot at 200° for about 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180° and bake for another 20 minutes.
  • The baking time depends on the oven (about 25/30 minutes, usually), but you will quickly notice if the challah is cooked: the surface will turn a nice color, between brown and golden, releasing a sweet aroma that would be noticed by even the most careless cooks ...
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