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My Delicious Challah

Reader Submitted Recipe by Bethany and Elisheva Malka
Makes 3 – 4 loaves

2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup + 1 cup warm water
4 eggs
7 cups flour, plus a bit more if needed
1 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar

1 egg yolk
Toppings (sesame seeds, poppy seeds, chocolate chips, cinnamon and sugar)

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water with a pinch of sugar to proof the yeast. Wait about 5 minutes until the mixture begins to foam or bubble.
Add eggs along with an additional 1 cup of water, and mix.
Add 4 cups of flour, mixing well until the flour is completely incorporated into the mixture. Then mix in the sugar, salt, and oil, and mix well.
Add in the remaining 3+ cups of flour, and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic-like. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, and cover with greased wax paper.
Let the dough rise for about one hour.
Punch down the dough, and let the dough rise for another hour.
Shape the dough into braided loaves. In a small dish, beat the egg yolk. Brush the loaves gently with egg yolk, and sprinkle on desired topping.
Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, or until challah tops are golden brown and the challah sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.