Challah Recipe

(This recipe makes 2 loaves, one of which can be frozen till ready to bake.)

2 free range/organic eggs 
1 cup sugar
1 1/2-2 pkg’s. yeast 4 tsp. salt
4 tbs. light veg. oil 7 – 8 cups flour
2 ¾ cups warm water Poppy seeds
  1 egg yolk beaten with
1 tsp. water

Dissolve one teaspoon of sugar in the warm water in a large mixing bowl, which has first been rinsed with hot water. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it stand 10 minutes. Gently stir to dissolve the yeast and then add the oil, sugar, salt, eggs and beat well. Add three cups of flour at a time until all the flour is mixed. Dough should be sticky.

Cover the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a floured board or counter and knead for 10 minutes, adding flour as needed. Place your dough back in a greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth in a warm place * until double in bulk, about 2 hours. Punch down, & divide in two. If not baking both loaves, either refrigerate or freeze the second batch until ready to use. Note: when using the second loaf, allow the dough to come fully to room temperature until continuing with following.

Allow your dough to rise again for 45 minutes. *

Punch it down, divide/cut the dough into three equal parts. Shape each one into a tubular shape by hand. Braid the loaf together, ensuring that the ends are secured and tucked under. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise again in a warm place until double (forty-five minutes approximately). Brush now with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake in a convection or regular oven at 400F for 25-30 minutes, depending on your oven, until deep golden brown. You’ll know it’s ready when the bottom of the dough is brown.

To store the yeast dough, grease the top well and cover with wax paper, then a damp cloth. Make sure the cloth stays damp. Will keep five days in fridge. Freezes well.

*The best place to raise yeast is on top of a stove top or near a radiator or heater.