This is the recipe I used last week for Sabbath and my husband gave me the biggest compliment he has ever given. =) It’s not difficult to make, either, which is always a plus for me! Mine looked nearly identical to this photo.
Classic Challah Bread
- 3 Tablespoons yeast
- 1/3 cup oil ( I used olive)
- 2 1/4 cup warm water
- 4 fresh eggs
- 1 Tablespoon ground sea salt
- 9 cups flour (half wheat/half unbleached)
- 1/3 cup raw sugar
With very few exceptions, I use fresh ground wheat berries for half of the flour in my baking to add nutrition and flavor.
Dissolve yeast in water and let stand for 10 minutes. Add salt, sugar, oil, and eggs. Add flour, 3 cups at a time, beating well after each addition.
Knead dough on a lightly floured board for approximately 7 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding flour as necessary, possibly up to 1 cup more.
Whenever I make bread that has to be kneaded, I use my heavy duty Dimension mixer, which, sadly, has been discontinued, but it is similar to the Bosch. I have had this mixer for about 10 years now and it is still going strong. I make bread, pizza dough, cake, cookies, frosting, anything that needs mixing, in this and it always does a great job! It easily does 12 cups of flour and probably more, but I haven’t tried that. If you have a family of 4 or less, a quality breadmaker would also work very well.
Place in a large greased bowl, turning the dough once so the greased side is on top and cover with a clean, damp towel.
I just leave it in the mixing bowl and ignore this step. The bowl has a tight lid and I put that on and leave it
Let stand in a warm place to rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until double in bulk.
Punch down completely so there are no air pockets.
Divide dough into 6 equal portions: shape into ropes about 1 inch in diameter.
Braid 3 ropes together to form a loaf. Repeat for a second loaf.
Place on greased cookie sheets
You can use baking stones from Pampered Chef or other places for a “brick oven effect” and you won’t have to grease them
Let rise a second time until double in size
If you have a propane or gas oven, it probably stays warm in there and that is a great place to let bread rise
Brush with an egg glaze and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.
Bake at 350º for 30 minutes.
This bread is both delicious and beautiful! A true masterpiece!